Born Carol Elizabeth Moseley on August 16, 1947, in Chicago, IL; daughter of Joseph (a police officer) and Edna (a medical technician).
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U.S. Attorney’s Office, assistant attorney, c. mid-1970s; Illinois House of Representatives, state representative, 1978-88; Cook County Recorder of Deeds, 1988-91; US. Senate, senator from Illinois, 1992-98; Department of Education, consultant, 1999; U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, 2000-01; Morris Brown College, visiting distinguished professor and scholar in residence, 2001-02; DePaul University’s College of Commerce, business law professor, 2002-03.
Shortly after becoming senator, Moseley Braun won clashes with Southern senators over a patent for a Confederate insignia. She was noted for her support of individual retirement accounts for homemakers and for filibustering to restore budget monies for youth job training and for senior citizens. Her record was tarnished, however, by her helping to ease legal restrictions on the sale of two television broadcasting companies, by lavish personal spending of campaign money, and by her favouring legislation to benefit a corporate campaign donor. She also was criticized for associating with two Nigerian military dictators.
Carol Moseley-Braun worked for three years as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Her success as a prosecutor earned her the United States Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award. Then, in 1978, Moseley-Braun was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, where she immediately earned a reputation as an uncompromising stateswoman. During her first election for State Representative, Carol Moseley-Braun pledged to make education her top priority. She was the chief sponsor of the 1985 Urban School Improvement Act, which created parents’ councils at every school in Chicago. Braun was selected to become the first woman and the first African American in Illinois history to serve as Assistant Majority Leader.
On November 3, 1993, Carol Moseley-Braun was elected to the United States Senate. Her victory represented the opening of a new world of opportunity to African Americans, as she was only the second African American elected to the U.S. Senate. Upon taking office, she was named to the Judiciary Committee; the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; and the Small Business Committee. During her term, Carol Moseley-Braun was a strong champion of health care and education reform. In 1994, she authored the EducationalAs the late Mayor Harold Washington’s legislative floor leader, Carol Moseley-Braun was the chief sponsor of bills to reform education and to ban discrimination in housing and private clubs. For each of her ten years in the legislature, Carol Moseley-Braun received the “Best Legislator” award given by the Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization Infrastructure Act, which was designed to channel education funds into the areas most needed by low-income communities.
Such measures emphasize Carol Moseley-Braun’s fight for the creation of social programs that directly address the needs of a district rather than those that merely promote a political agenda. In 1999, President Clinton appointed Carol Moseley-Braun United States Ambassador to New Zealand. Currently, Moseley-Braun teaches at DePaul University in Chicago and Morris Brown College in Atlanta, where she also serves as vice president of the consulting firm GoodWorks International.