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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 While at Howard, she was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and she participated in one of the nation's first lunch counter sit-ins in 1943.


1949 25 Years Old She did postgraduate work at the University of Chicago 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 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.
1961 37 Years Old Harris worked briefly for the U.S. Department of Justice before returning to Howard University in 1961 as an associate dean of students and law lecturer at Howard's law school.
1963 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1963, she was elevated to a full professorship and, in 1969, she was named Dean of Howard University's School of Law. … Read More


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.
1969 45 Years Old Following her service as Dean of Howard's School of Law from 1969 to 1972, she joined 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. A testimony to her effectiveness and her commitment to excellence came when President Jimmy Carter appointed her to two cabinet-level posts during his administration. Harris was appointed to the cabinet of President Jimmy Carter when he took office in 1977. … Read More


1977 53 Years Old Between 1977 and 1979 she served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and in 1979, she became Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
1980 56 Years Old After the Department of Education Organization Act came into force on May 4, 1980, the educations functions of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare were transferred to the Department of Education.
1981 57 Years Old Harris remained as Secretary of the renamed Department of Health and Human Services until Carter left office in 1981. Because the department had merely changed names, as opposed to disbanding with new department being created, she did not face Senate confirmation again after the change. Harris unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of Washington, D.C., in 1982, losing the September 14 primary election that year to incumbent mayor Marion Barry.


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
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Roberts_Harris.
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