Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (Democrat, California) was the first woman in U.S. history to be elected to top party leadership positions in the U.S. Congress. A member of the House of Representatives since 1987 from the 8th District in San Francisco, she was elected House minority whip in 2002, House minority leader in 2003, and Speaker of the House in 2007. As of this writing, no woman has ascended to any other top-tier leadership positions in either party in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.

Pelosi was born on March 26, 1940, in Baltimore, Maryland, to a political family. Her father served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Mayor of Baltimore; her brother also served in the latter position. In 1969, ...

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