A Life of History
Born on Chicago’s south side to a medical assistant and Chicago police officer, Carol Moseley financed her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago by working at the post office and grocery store. She went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School.
Carol began her career as an Assistant United States Attorney, where her success as a prosecutor earned her the U.S. Attorney’s Special Achievement Award.
In 1978 Carol was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. During her first election for State Representative, Carol made education her top priority. She was the chief sponsor of the 1985 Urban School Improvement Act which created parents councils at every school in Chicago. As early as 1984, Carol proposed a moratorium on the death penalty. In what became a landmark reapportionment case, Carol successfully sued her own party and the state of Illinois on behalf of African-American, Hispanic, and female citizens. Carol was also the chief sponsor of bills to reform education and ban discrimination in housing and private clubs.
After only two terms in the House, Carol was selected to become the first African-American woman to serve as Assistant Majority Leader. Her legislative legacy is her ability to build coalitions of people from all races and backgrounds who are committed to the same values of how government should best represent the people.
Carol went on to break barriers at the local government level when she was elected Cook County Recorder of Deeds with more than one million votes cast in her favor. She became the first woman and the first African-American to hold executive office in Cook County government.
In 1993, Carol made history again when she was elected to the United States Senate. Her victory represented the opening of a new world of opportunity as she was the first African-American female elected to the U.S. Senate. During her time in office Carol was a strong champion of healthcare and education reform-writing the Educational Infrastructure Act, designed to help bring education funding to low-income communities.
Because of Carol’s tireless fight for fairness and the eradication of discrimination President Clinton appointed her United States Ambassador to New Zealand in 1999. Today Carol resides in Hyde Park and has launched a line of organic food products called Ambassador Organics.