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Bella Abzug (1920–1998)

Congresswoman and Activist

There are those who say I’m impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, overbearing. Whether I’m any of these things or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am—and this ought to be made very clear at the outset—I am a very serious woman. - 1972

Bella Abzug was a longtime activist and proponent of equal rights for women. She grew up in New York City and became an attorney in the 1940s when few women entered this profession. In the 1960s, she became an anti-war activist, which led to a run for political office in New York City. In 1971, she made her first run and win for Congress on the Democratic ticket. Abzug was a huge supporter of the ERA, gay rights, and a founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus.