Former Representative Pat Schroeder, who pioneered women’s and family rights in Congress, died Monday night, her former press secretary said. She turned 82.
She represented Colorado’s 1st congressional district from 1973-1997.
Andrea Camp, Schroeder’s former press secretary, said the former lawmaker recently suffered a stroke and died at a hospital in Celebration, Florida, where she had lived for the past few years.
“Pat Schroeder paved the way. Every woman in this house is following in her footsteps,” says Rep. Nita Lowey, D.N.Y.
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FILE – Pat Schroeder speaks to a reporter during an interview at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 30, 1999. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Lowey took over from Schroeder as Democratic chair of the congressional caucus on women’s issues.
Schroeder served 24 years and rose through the Democratic ranks as she built a reputation for using her rapier wits to take on the powerful elite, shake up institutions and force entities to recognize the role of women in government .
FILE — Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm, DN.Y., left, and Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., are pictured at a press conference in Washington on July 31, 1979. (AP Photo/John Duricka)
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She was not afraid to embarrass her congressional colleagues and became an icon for the feminist movement.
Schroeder retired in 1997 and her farewell shot to Congress came the following year when she wrote a book called “24 Years of Housework…and the Place is Still a Mess. My Life in Politics.
FILE – President Bill Clinton introduces Representative Pat Schroeder of Colorado at a ceremony honoring community heroes from flood-ravaged states in St. Louis, August 12, 1993. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
The tell-all book details her frustration with the male-dominated legislature and the general slowness of things something done in the federal government.
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She was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report