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Antonia C. Novello is a former U.S. surgeon general who was the first woman and first person of Latin descent to hold the position.
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Born on August 23, 1944, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Antonia C. Novello studied medicine and became a deputy director with the National Institutes of Health. In 1990, she was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the first female and Latin U.S. surgeon general. She focused on AIDS prevention, underage smoking and women’s health, among other items. She later worked for UNICEF and New York state.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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Despite all sorts of institutional obstacles, women have continued to reach stratospheric levels of success in a full gamut of professional pursuits, whether as scientists, scribes, educators, governmental leaders, athletes, designers, film directors or performers. Learn more about the plethora of triumphs obtained by our group of trailblazers.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
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