Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris was an American politician, diplomat and legal scholar. She served as the 6th United States secretary of housing and urban development from 1977 to 1979 and as the 13th United States secretary of health, education, and welfare from 1979 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter; position was renamed as United States secretary of health and human services in 1980 when its education functions were transferred to the new United States secretary of education. President Lyndon B. Johnson previously appointed her United States ambassador to Luxembourg from 1965 to 1967. A member of the Democratic Party, Harris was the first African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet, as well as first to be United States ambassador. She was also the first Black American woman to be dean of a law school, and the first to sit on a Fortune 500 company's board of directors.


Patricia Roberts Harris was an American politician, diplomat and legal scholar. She served as the 6th United States secretary of housing and urban development from 1977 to 1979 and as the 13th United States secretary of health, education, and welfare from 1979 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter; position was renamed as United States secretary of health and human services in 1980 when its education functions were transferred to the new United States secretary of education. President Lyndon B. Johnson previously appointed her United States ambassador to Luxembourg from 1965 to 1967. A member of the Democratic Party, Harris was the first African American woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet, as well as first to be United States ambassador. She was also the first Black American woman to be dean of a law school, and the first to sit on a Fortune 500 company's board of directors.
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