Shirley Chisholm-Hardwick

Burial Location Age
Buffalo, New York April 18, 2010


Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery holds the                                    Chisholm is interred inside the cemetery's
remains of many notable people, including                                  Birchwood Mausoleum. She advocated for
Shirley Chisholm, the first African American                                  women to search for jobs non-
congresswoman.                                                                       sterotypical to their gender.


Inside the mausoleum. Chisholm                                               "Unbought and Unbossed" says Chisholm's
is interred in the second vault                                                    epitaph. That was the title of one of the
from the top.                                                                            two autobiographies she penned during
                                                                                              her tenure in Congress.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* An inspiration for African Americans at the end of the Civil Rights Era, Shirley Chisholm was an outspoken politician whose ascent to Congress served as an example of the progress that had been made in the 1960's. She was born as Shirley St. Hill in New York City on November 30th, 1924 to immigrant parents. When she was three years old, St. Hill went to live with her maternal grandmother on a farm in Barbados. She received much of her primary schooling there in Barbados before returning back to the United States in 1934. The young lady attended the integrated Girls High School in Brooklyn and became a student at Brooklyn College after her graduation. She left Brooklyn College in 1946 with her B.A. and wed a man named Conrad Chisholm three years later. In 1952, she graduated from Columbia University with her M.A. in elementary education.

* From 1953 to 1959, Chisholm was the director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center. She then worked with New York City's Bureau of Child Welfare from 1959 until 1964. Chisholm ran for a seat in the New York State Legislature in 1964 and was victorious. She sponsored fifty bills during her time in the state assembly, though only eight were passed. In 1968, Chisholm decided to move up the political ladder and ran for Congress. She defeated her opponent, Republican candidate James Farmer, and became the first African American congresswoman in U.S. history.

* As a member of the House, Shirley Chisholm represented New York's 12th district. During her first term, the congresswoman was placed on the House Forestry Committee. However, as the 12th district is made up of parts of several NYC boroughs, this assignment was one that did not affect or benefit her constituents. Due to this, Chisholm insisted that she be reassigned so that she could actually be of use to the people that she represented. She was subsequently placed on the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and then the Education and Labor Committee after that. Chisholm was also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

* Always advocating for her constituents, Chisholm took a hard stance against the Vietnam War. She stated that it was unfair for the conflict to be draining so much money when it could be put to good use at home, feeding and housing Americans in need. The congresswoman also was an advocate for women being able to choose whether or not they wanted abortions. In 1972, during her second term as a House member, Chisholm attempted to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency. She came in fourth on 
the first ballot with 152 votes. Though the nomination went to South Dakota's George McGovern, Chisholm's run was symbolic, as no female had made an attempt to win the Democratic presidential nomination before. Senator Margaret Chase Smith came in second for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964.

* In total, Shirley Chisholm served in the House of Representatives for seven terms. She left office in 1983 and taught women's studies and politics at Mount Holyoke College. Chisholm left the school in 1987. In 1993, President Bill Clinton offered Chisholm the post of ambassador to Jamaica, but she declined the position on the grounds of her poor health. Having retired to Florida, she passed away there on New Year's Day in 2005.

Spouse: Conrad Q. Chisholm (1916-2009)
              Arthur Hardwick, Jr. (1916-1986)

Political Party:
Democratic Party

Last Words:
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