Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi of California, United States is the 52nd speaker of the U.S. house of representatives. She is the first woman, first Californian and first Italian-American to hold this position.
A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is the highest ranking female elected official in the U.S. Here are 13 more facts about her:
- She is the youngest and the only girl among the seven children of Italian-Americans Thomas D’Alesandro Jr. and Annunciata M. “Nancy” Lombardi D’Alesandro. When she was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on March 26, 1940, her father was a Democratic congressman from Maryland.
- She graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame, an all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore, in 1958 and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1962. While attending college, she met Paul Frank Pelosi.
- She and Paul got married at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore on September 7, 1963. They have four daughters namely Nancy Corinne Pelosi Prowda, Alexandra Pelosi, Christine Pelosi and Jacqueline Pelosi and a son named Paul Pelosi.
- In 1976, she was elected as a Democratic National Committee member from California. She held the position until 1996.
- In 1981, she was selected to head the California Democratic Party. She led the party until 1983.
- In 1987, she won California’s fifth congressional district special election. She received 36.1 percent of the votes, beating her fellow Democratic candidate Harry Britt, who received 32.5 percent of the votes. She won the runoff election with 63.3 percent of the votes, beating Republican candidate Harriet Ross with 30.7 percent of the votes. She was reelected in 1988 and in 1990.
- In 1992, she won California’s eighth congressional district election with 82.5 percent of the votes beating Republican candidate Marc Wolin with 11 percent of the votes. She was reelected in 1994, in 1996, in 1998, in 2000, in 2002, in 2004, in 2006, in 2008 and in 2010.
- In 2003, she won the election for speaker of the U.S. house of representatives. She was reelected in 2005, in 2007, in 2009, in 2011 and in 2013. She lost the position to Republicans John Boehner and Paul Ryan in 2015 and to Ryan again in 2017 before regaining it in 2019.
- On June 2, 2007, she was honored by Italy with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
- In 2012, she won California’s 12th congressional district election with 85.1 percent of the votes in the general election, leaving 14.9 percent of the votes to Republican candidate John Dennis. She was reelected in 2014, in 2016 and in 2018. In 2020, she won the primary election with 72.5 percent beating fellow Democratic candidate Shahid Buttar with 12.7 percent of the votes.
- In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, an institution created in 1969 by a group of people in Seneca Falls, New York, USA where the women’s rights convention took place in 1848.
- On April 29, 2015, she was honored by Japan with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
- On August 31, 2020, she had her hair styled in eSalon in Cow Hollow, San Francisco, California. She made headlines and received backlash since local ordinances kept salons closed in the city amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.