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Kennelly, Barbara (1936–)

American politician and congressional representative. Born Barbara Bailey in Hartford, CT, July 10, 1936; dau. of John Bailey (politician) and Barbara (Leary) Bailey; Trinity College, Washington, DC, BA in Economics, 1958; graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe School of Business Administration, 1959; Trinity College, MA, 1973; m. James J. Kennelly (lawyer and CT legislator), Sept 26, 1959; children: Eleanor Bride Kennelly; Barbara Leary Kennelly; Louise Moran Kennelly; John Bailey Kennelly.

Entered political arena (1975), when she became a member of Hartford Court of Common Council; served as secretary of state for Connecticut (1979–81); as a Democrat, elected to Congress (1982); was a congressional representative until 1998, the 3rd woman ever appointed to the prestigious Ways and Means Committee; later became 1st woman to serve on Select Committee on Intelligence, and 1st to be appointed Chief Deputy Majority Whip; early in 105th Congress, was reelected for a 2nd term as vice chair of Democratic Caucus, making her the highest-ranking woman and the 4th-ranking Democrat in the House; decided to forgo a 9th term in Congress to enter the Connecticut gubernatorial race (1997) but was defeated.

See also Women in World History.

Kennelly, Barbara (1936–)

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