California’s longest-serving Senator, Dianne Feinstein, a true political trailblazer who spent more than 30 years in the U.S. Senate, has died. She was 90.
“There are few women who can be called senator, chairman, mayor, wife, mom and grandmother,” her chief of staff, James Sauls, said. “She left a legacy that is undeniable and extraordinary. There is much to say about who she was and what she did, but for now, we are going to grieve the passing of our beloved boss, mentor, and friend.”
Feinstein was the oldest member of the U.S. Senate when she died. Her mental capacity was questioned in her final years of serving. There were repeated calls for her to resign.
“I’d put my record up against anyone’s,” Feinstein, 89 at the time, said in a statement. In February she announced she would be stepping down in 2024.
Senator Chuck Schumer once said about Feinstein, “She’s a legend. A legend in California as the first woman senator. A legend in the Senate. She was the leader on so many different issues.”
President Biden released a statement:
Feinstein was born ‘Dianne Goldman’ in San Francisco on June 22, 1933, she was raised by a Russian Orthodox mother and Jewish father.
“Feinstein went on to study at Stanford University where she graduated in 1955 and was later married three times.
She had her only daughter, Katherine, with her first husband, who she divorced after three years.
In 1962, she married her second husband, Bertram Feinstein, who died in 1978 of colon cancer, just months before Feinstein became San Francisco mayor.
In 1980, Feinstein married her third husband, investment banker Richard Blum. She remained with him until his death from cancer in 2022.
In 1969, at the age of 35, Feinstein first held public office, winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.”
In the 1970s, while serving as the first female president of the Board of Supervisors, Feinstein ran twice for mayor but lost. She had decided to not run again, but tragically Mayor George Moscone was assassinated. In 1979 she successfully won a term as mayor.
Feinstein was elected in 1992 as the first woman to represent California in the US Senate.
Feinstein was predeceased by her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, who died in 2022.
She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, a San Francisco County Superior Court judge; her son-in-law, Rick Mariano; and her granddaughter, Eileen Feinstein Mariano.
Source: ABC, AP News, New York Post, C Span, USA Today