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Martin, Lynn (1939—)

Martin, Lynn (1939—)

U.S. Republican congressional representative and secretary of labor . Born Judith Lynn Morley on December 26, 1939, in Evanston, Illinois; daughter of Lawrence Morley and Helen (Hall) Morley; University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, B.A., 1960; married John Martin (an engineer), in 1960 (divorced 1978); married Harry Leinenweber (a U.S. district court judge), in 1987; children: (first marriage) Julia Martin; Caroline Martin.

Was a teacher; served as member, Winnebago County Board (1972–76); was a member, Illinois House of Representatives (1977–79), and Illinois Senate (1979–80); was a delegate to the Illinois State Republican Convention (1980); elected as Republican to the 97th and to the four succeeding Congresses (1981–91); stood but was not elected to U.S. Senate (1990); was secretary of labor (1991–93); professor at J. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (1993—); fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, on December 26, 1939, to Lawrence Morley and Helen Hall Morley , Lynn Morley Martin attended William Taft High School in Chicago, graduating in 1957 with honors. After receiving a B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1960, she worked as a high school teacher, teaching English and economics, and married engineering student John Martin. They had two daughters. Lynn Martin was elected in 1972 to the Winnebago County Board and four years later she gained a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, moving to the state senate in 1979.

In 1980, U.S. congressional representative John Anderson decided to run for president, creating an opening for the House seat in Illinois' 16th District. Martin beat four Republicans in the primary and then won the general election. She would soon gain the reputation of being unbeatable, winning the next four elections by comfortable margins.

Entering Congress, Martin was appointed to the influential Budget Committee where she served for three Congresses. An outspoken, skilled and confident politician, she was to establish herself as a Republican Party leader. Martin was regularly a floor manager for the Republican Party in the House chamber. In 1984 and 1986, she won election as vice chair of the Republican Conference in the House, the first time a woman had held a position in the congressional Republican Party's hierarchy. In 1984, she also helped then Vice President George Bush prepare for his debate with Geraldine Ferraro ; he selected Martin to deliver the vice presidential nomination speech in Dallas that year.

In the Budget Committee negotiations of 1986, Martin was leader of her party's delegation, largely responsible for the acceptance of a Republican-sponsored reconciliation bill. She also served on the Committee on House Administration in the 97th and 98th Congresses, the Committee on Public Works and Transportation in the 98th Congress, and the Committee on Armed Services in the 99th and 100th Congresses. In the 101 Congress, she was given a widely sought seat on the Committee on Rules.

Lynn Martin was known as a fiscal conservative but a social moderate, a supporter of abortion rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1989, she was named Republican Woman of the Year and decided to run for the U.S. Senate from Illinois rather than seek reelection to the House of Representatives. Unsuccessful in this bid, she was appointed secretary of labor in the Cabinet of President George Bush, replacing Elizabeth Dole . When he announced her nomination, Bush referred to Martin as a "cherished friend," even though she had voted against him several times during her career in Congress, including on a critical labor issue. As secretary of labor, she pushed for greater representation of women and minorities in corporate America.

Martin was divorced from her first husband in 1978 and married U.S. district court judge Harry Leinenweber in 1987. After serving as secretary of labor from 1991 until 1993, Martin took up a teaching position at the J.J. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University's business school, teaching public policy. She has also been a fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and consulted for the international accounting firm Deloitte & Touche.

Paula Morris , D.Phil., Brooklyn, New York

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