Loading

BARBARA JORDAN

A distinguished public servant, scholar, speaker, and teacher, Barbara Jordan is remembered for her eloquent defense of the Constitution before the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings in 1974, for her stirring keynote address at the 1976 Democratic Convention, and for an eloquent and moving speech to the 1992 Convention.  After retiring from Congress in 1978, she taught political values and ethics at the University of Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and served as ethics adviser to Texas Government Ann Richards. 

She was elected in 1966 as the first black state senator in Texas history and in 1972 became the first Southern black elected to the United States Congress since Reconstruction.  Among her legislative achievements were amendments to the Voting Rights Act that expanded its coverage and provided for the printing of bilingual ballots; repeal of federal authorization for state “Fair Trade” laws that sanctioned vertical price-fixing schemes; and the creation of mandatory civil-rights enforcement procedures for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the Office of Revenue Sharing.

Professor Jordan was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990 and recently was selected as “one of the most influential American women of the 20th Century.”  She died in 1996.