Bella Abzug

Lived:July 24, 1920—March 31, 1998 (aged 77)
Career:U.S. House of Representatives, 1971-1977
Education:Bachelor's, City University of New York
J.D., Columbia University

Bella Abzug served as a United States representative from 1971-1977, representing New York's 19th district (1971-1973) and New York's 20th district (1973-1977).

Abzug was born July 24, 1920, and grew up in New York's Bronx neighborhood. She received an A.B. from Hunter College in 1942 and then entered Columbia University Law School. She practiced law for 25 years, working on labor and tenants' rights, civil rights and liberties cases.

In the 1960's, Abzug cofounded Women Strike for Peace, a group that protested the nuclear arms race and later the American military presence in Vietnam. In 1971, she co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus. In 1976, she ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, but lost in a close primary race.

In 1977, Abzug presided over the first National Women's Conference in Houston. She established the Women USA Fund and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, advocacy groups that worked to give women’s issues more prominence on the United Nations’ agenda, and was instrumental in the UN International Women's Conferences. In 1990, she co-founded the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), an international activist and advocacy network.

Abzug passed away on March 31, 1998.

For information on Abzug's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation during her time in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit her profile on


Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (2020, Oct. 2). Bella Abzug: American politician. In Britannica. Retrieved on October 7, 2020, from

Jewish Women's Archive. (n.d.). Bella Abzug. Retrieved on Oct. 7, 2020 from
United States House of Representatives. (n.d.). Abzug, Bella Savitzky. Retrieved on Oct. 7, 2020, from