- Patricia Schroeder was a congresswoman from 1973 to 1997.
- She was the first female Rep for Colorado.
- Pat Schroeder died on Monday, March 13. She was 82.
Pat Schroeder has died at 82 years old, following complications from a stroke, per The New York Times. Pat’s daughter Jamie Cornish shared the news of her passing from complications from a stroke on Monday, March 13. Schroeder was a pioneering congresswoman, who served in the House of Representatives for over 20 years. Even after her time as a representative, she remained a major voice in the Democratic party. Here’s everything you need to know about Pat Schroeder.
1. Pat was the first female U.S. Representative For Colorado
Schroeder began her political career in 1972, and won the House election to become the first woman to represent a district in Colorado. Her first campaign was the subject of scrutiny, even being monitored by the FBI. She revealed that she found out that the agency had paid her husband’s barber to be an informant, paying for break-ins, and had tapped their phones. She later opened up about it in a 2013 interview with The Hill. “I just assumed that they were watching everything. And for me, they always seemed to be,” she said.
When she was elected, she was a young mom, and she made waves for bringing diapers with her to Congress. Since then, she encouraged other women to be able to monitor both their careers in politics and motherhood. “All of the time I was there, I was a little terrified about it because a lot of people were telling me it doesn’t work, but it worked really well. The kids grew up fine. They’ve done well, gone on to do great things,” she told The Hill.
2. She was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services committee
As a member of Congress, one Schroeder’s earliest committee assignments was on the House Armed Services committee, making her the first woman to serve on it. She was also dedicated to family issues, as demonstrated by her place on the Select Committee on Children, Youth, And Families. One of her biggest pieces of legislation was passing the Family And Medical Leave Act in 1983, per Women In Congress.
3. She briefly ran for president in 1987
While the only political office she ever held was in Congress, Schroeder did chair former Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1987, and after he dropped out, she stepped up to run for office. Unfortunately, her campaign was short-lived. She dropped out after becoming emotional during a 1988 press conference, which voters saw as casting her in a negative light. Even years after her campaign, she revealed that she regularly received angry letters about it in a 2007 USA Today interview. “I want to say, ‘Wait a minute, we are talking 20 years ago.’ It’s like I ruined their lives, 20 years ago, with three seconds of catching my breath,” she said, recalling an email she received. “Guys have been tearing up all along and people think it’s marvelous.”
4. She’s written multiple books
Besides her life in the political sphere, it seems that Schroeder has a passion for books, and has written both a political book Champion of the Great American Family (1989) and a memoir 24 Years of House Work… And The Place Is Still A Mess (1998). She’s also contributed different pieces to various publications over the years.
5. After her time in Congress, she was the president of a publishing company
After leaving Congress, Schroeder became the president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers in 1997 and held the position for 11 years. She was a staunch advocate for publishers during her time with the company.