Margaret Chase Smith represented the people of Maine for 32 years, eight in the House of Representatives and twenty four in the Senate. The first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, she also was the first to be elected to the United States Senate without prior appointment and the first to have her name placed in nomination for the presidency of the United States at the convention of a major political party.
Born in 1897 in Skowhegan, Maine, she was elected in 1940 to fill her late husband's term in the House of Representatives. She remained a member of that body until 1948, when she ran successfully for the Senate.
The Republican "Lady of Maine" was known for her independent voting record and for being a tough questioner of administration officials testifying before Senate committees. She frequently went toe-to-toe with government leaders with whom she differed, and she won widespread respect for her forcefulness and the strength of her convictions. She died in 1995.