Pelosi, Nancy Patricia

Pelosi, Nancy Patricia pəlō´sē [key], 1940–, U.S. congresswoman, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (2007–11), b. Baltimore as Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro. The daughter of Thomas J. D'Alesandro, Jr., who served as Baltimore's mayor and a congressman, she moved to California, where she became active in the Democratic party. In 1987 she was was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election. A liberal from San Francisco, she became minority whip in 2001 and, succeeding Dick Gephardt , minority leader in 2003, becoming the first woman to hold high-ranking leadership positions in the U.S. Congress. Democratic victories in the 2006 and 2008 congressional elections led to her election as Speaker of the House she became the first woman to hold the post. In 2011 Pelosi became minority leader again, after the Democrats lost their majority.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.