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Barbara Boxer

(1940 - )

Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein were the first pair of women to be elected together to the United States Senate from the same state in 1992. The two were also the first Jewish female members of the U.S. Senate.  

Boxer was born on November 11, 1940, to Sophie and Ira Levy, in Brooklyn, New York. In her youth she never contemplated having a career in public office. Boxer went through the public school system and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1962. She married Stewart Boxer her senior year of college. After graduation, she went to work so that Stewart could attend Fordham Law School.

After moving to San Francisco, California, her husband obtained a legal position after graduating law school and passing the bar exam. It was here that the pair had two children, Doug and Nicole. 

After losing her first election, she went to work for two years as a reporter at the Pacific Sun. She then became an aide for Congressman John Burton, and after two years ran again for supervisor in Marin County and won. 

She served as supervisor of Marin County for six years, becoming the first woman to be elected president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In 1983, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives from California's Sixth District. 

Boxer served for ten years as a congresswoman. In that time she introduced legislation for more competitive bidding from contractors, fought for military reforms and to protect whistle blowers in government. She exposed mismanagement in the waste program, fought for airline cabin safety and was an advocate for domestic priorities in the areas of health, biomedical research, and education.

She was recognized for her achievements with awards from the Anti- Defamation League, National Council of Jewish Women, Planned Parenthood, League of Conservatism, American Police Hall of Fame, etc.

Barbara Boxer's success in the political arena is a model to be emulated by every young woman.

Sources: This is one of the 150 illustrated true stories of American heroism included in Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America : 150 True Stories of American Jewish Heroism, © 1996, written by Seymour "Sy" Brody of Delray Beach, Florida, illustrated by Art Seiden of Woodmere, New York, and published by Lifetime Books, Inc., Hollywood, FL.