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Condoleezza Rice is the first black woman to serve as the United States' national security adviser, as well as the first black woman to serve as U.S. Secretary of State (2005-09).
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Condoleezza Rice grew up in Jim Crow Alabama and went on to become the first female National Security Advisor and the first African-American female United States Secretary of State.
Condoleezza Rice talks about her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, her memories of Martin Luther King, Jr, and witnessing the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
After growing up on the streets of the South Bronx, Colin Powell rose through the military ranks to become the 65th U.S. Secretary of State and the first African American appointed to the position.
Before leaving to serve his country, John McCain was what many called a "party boy," and not the tough-as-nails hero he would be labeled later in life.
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The event was monumental. The club, which opened in 1933, had infamously been known for its all-male membership and repeated failure to admit women.
Just a few weeks later, on August 29, 2012, Rice attended the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, showing her support for the Republican Party's 2012 election candidates,
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Rice delivered a riveting speech on the second day of the convention, spurring positive media attention: "I think my father thought I might be president of the United States. I think he would've been satisfied with secretary of state. I'm a foreign policy person and to have a chance to serve my country as the nation's chief diplomat at a time of peril and consequence, that was enough," she said, adding that her future plans focus on being an educator, not a politician.
"I'll go back and be a happy Stanford faculty member," Rice said. "And, obviously, I'll do what I can to help this ticket. But my life is in Palo Alto. My future is with my students at Stanford and in public service on issues that I care about like education reform."
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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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