1936 - 1996
Barbara Jordan gained national attention for her intelligence, acumen, and oratorical skill as a member of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee during hearings on the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal.
Example of her stirring oratory: "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."
In her career as a legislator and educator she was a vigorous proponent of equal rights, especially for African Americans and women. A deeply closeted lesbian, she did not, however, speak out for the cause of gay civil rights.