Vucanovich, Barbara F. (1921—)

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Vucanovich, Barbara F. (1921—)

American politician. Born Barbara Farrell on June 22, 1921, in Camp Dix, New Jersey; educated at Miss Quinn's School, Albany, New York; graduated from Albany Academy for Girls, 1938; attended Manhattan College of the Sacred Heart, New York, 1938–39.

Was a delegate to the Nevada State Republican conventions (1952–80); served as district staff assistant for U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt (1974–82); was a delegate to the Republican National conventions (1976 and 1980); elected as Republican to the 98th through 104th Congresses (1983–97).

Born Barbara Farrell in Camp Dix, New Jersey, in 1921, Barbara F. Vucanovich grew up in Albany and was educated at both Miss Quinn's School and the Albany Academy for Girls, from which she graduated in 1938. After two years at the Manhattan College of the Sacred Heart in New York, she moved to Nevada in 1949. In the 1960s, Vucanovich was a businesswoman, the owner of a travel agency and an Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamics School.

7But her political interests—she became a delegate to the Nevada State Republican Convention in 1952—eventually spelled a change of career. For 20 years Vucanovich worked for U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt, first as a local organizer and later as his North Nevada representative, holding the position of district staff assistant. This longterm commitment to the Republican Party and her experience in party politics helped secure her the Republican nomination for the newly created Second District seat in 1982. Vucanovich, a Reno resident, was elected to the 98th Congress, taking her seat in 1983, and represented the district encompassing most of the land area of Nevada for six subsequent Congresses.

As a member of the House of Representatives, Vucanovich focused on a number of issues of concern to her constituency, including federal wilderness and national park policy, public land use, and nuclear waste disposal. She served on the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (where she was ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on General Oversight and Investigation) and the Committee on House Administration (where she was ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Accounts). Vucanovich was also a member of the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. In the latter half of her Congressional career she served on the Committee on Appropriations, chairing the Subcommittee on Military Construction during her final term. After 14 years in the House of Representatives, Vucanovich did not seek reelection to the 105th Congress.


Women in Congress, 1917–1990. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991.

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