Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris

Born May 31, 1924

Patricia Roberts Harris served in the administration of President Jimmy Carter as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (which office was renamed Secretary of Health and Human Services during her tenure). She was the first African American woman to serve in the United States Cabinet, and the first to enter the line of succession to the Presidency.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Patricia Roberts Harris.

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    NYTimes - Sep 10, 2011
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    NYTimes - Sep 04, 2011
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    Google News - Sep 01, 2011
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    Google News - Aug 31, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Patricia Roberts Harris.


1924 Birth Born on May 31, 1924.


1943 19 Years Old During this time she participated in one of the nation's first lunch counter sit-ins in 1943.


1946 22 Years Old She did postgraduate work in industrial relations at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1949 and at American University in 1949.
1953 29 Years Old Until 1953, she worked as the Assistant Director of the American Council on Human Rights. … Read More


1955 31 Years Old There she met William Beasley Harris, a member of the Howard law faculty; they were married on September 1, 1955.
1960 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Roberts received her J.D. from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1960, ranking number one out of a class of 94 students. … Read More
1963 39 Years Old In 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed her co-chairman of the National Women's Committee for Civil Rights. In 1964, Harris was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the District of Columbia.


1964 40 Years Old She worked in Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign and seconded his nomination at the 1964 Democratic Convention.
1965 41 Years Old Soon after his victory, President Johnson appointed her Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1965 to 1967. … Read More
1969 45 Years Old Following her service as Dean of Howard's School of Law from 1969 to 1972, she joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, one of Washington, D.C.'s most prestigious law firms. … Read More
1972 48 Years Old She continued making an impact on the Democratic Party when, in 1972, she was appointed chairman of the credentials committee and a member-at-large of the Democratic National Committee in 1973. … Read More


1977 53 Years Old 1 More Event
Harris was appointed to the cabinet of President Jimmy Carter when he took office in 1977. … Read More


1985 61 Years Old That year, she was appointed a full-time professor at the George Washington National Law Center, a position she served in until her death from breast cancer, on March 23, 1985. … Read More
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