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 to 1977, representing New York's 19th district (1971 to 1973) and New York's 20th district (1973 to 1977).

Abzug was born July 24, 1920, and grew up in New York's Bronx neighborhood. She attended Hunter College and then continued on to Columbia University to complete her law degree. She worked as a lawyer for 25 years, working on labor and tenants' rights, civil rights and liberties cases.

In the 1960's, Abzug helped start the Women Strike for Peace (WSP), an organization that began in response to the United States and Soviet nuclear test, but was an important voice against the Vietnam War. She was elected to Congress in 1970, where she demonstrated convictions as an anti-war activist and fighter for social and economic justice. 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 played a significant role in Women USA, a grassroots political action organization, and the UN International Women's Conference. In 1990, she co-founded the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), an international activist and advocacy network.

Abzug passed away in 1998 at the age of 77.

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