Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Dianne Feinstein
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (born June 23, 1933) is a Democratic U.S. Senator from California, a position she has held since 1992. She was also San Francisco's first woman mayor.

Feinstein, who is Jewish, was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco. Her father, Leon Goldman, was a nationally renowned surgeon who traveled frequently and spoke at academic conferences. She received her B.A degree in history in 1955 from Stanford University. In 1957, she married Jack Berman, a colleague in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. They were divorced 3 years later.

In 1962, shortly after starting her career in politics, she married neurosurgeon Bertram Feinstein. In 1969, Feinstein won a position on the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, which is also the City Council of San Francisco. She held this position for nine years, becoming the first woman President of the Board. During her tenure, she ran for mayor of San Francisco twice (1971 and 1975), losing both times.

In November 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by a rival politician after they enacted the city's first gay rights bill. As President of the Board of Supervisors, Feinstein automatically succeeded to the mayoral position on December 4. She served out the remainder of the term and was re-elected in 1979 for a second term and finally left office on January 8, 1988.

In 1978, Feinstein's husband, Bertram, died of colon cancer. In 1980, she married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker who later helped fund her unsuccessful bid for the California Governor's seat in 1990. She lost to Republican Senator Pete Wilson, who vacated his seat in the Senate to assume the governorship. In 1992, Feinstein won a special election to fill the remaining two years in Wilson's vacated Senate seat. She was re-elected in 1994 and again in 2000.

Feinstein is a strong proponent of gun control, yet is known to have carried concealed handguns herself with a normally hard-to-obtain California carry permit - few people, other than politicians and celebrities, are able to obtain California CCW permits. At one time, she was the only person in San Francisco to possess a conceal-carry permit.

Feinstein is listed as a member of the Trilateral Commission.

See also

External References

Preceded by:
John F. Seymour
United States Senators from California Succeeded by: