Monday, January 3, 2005


Shirley Chisholm:

January 3, 2005 -- Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, has died at 80.

She had suffered a series of strokes, her longtime congressional staffer William Howard told The Post.

Chisholm, who retired from Congress in 1982, had spent the last 15 years in Osmond Beach, Fla.

"She was our Moses [who] opened the Red Sea for us," said Robert Williams, president of the NAACP in Flagler Co., Fla.

Chisholm, a Democrat, was elected to Congress in 1968, representing central Brooklyn. Just three years later, she became the first black woman to seek a major party presidential nomination.

[. . .]

Robert Matsui

WASHINGTON - Rep. Robert T. Matsui, D-Calif., a World War II internee as an infant who rose to become one of the top Asian-Americans in Congress during 26 years of service, died late Saturday, his office announced Sunday. He was 63.

One of his party's leading spokesmen on tax and Social Security issues, Matsui was hospitalized at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Dec. 24, suffering from pneumonia. His office said he had been diagnosed several months ago with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disease that compromises the body's ability to fight infection.

Matsui, a senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, was expected to be one of his party's leaders in the expected battle in Congress this year over President Bush's proposal to overhaul Social Security.

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