Tammy Duckworth (1968 – )

U.S. Senator from Illinois (D), 2016 – Present

Tammy Duckworth served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Illinois’s 8th Congressional District beginning in 2012. In 2016, Duckworth was elected to the U.S. Senate. 

Before her time in office, Duckworth served in the Iraq War. In 2004, her helicopter was hit and Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. She received a Purple Heart for her service. Following her recovery, she became Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs and later appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Duckworth is the first Thai American woman and the first person born in Thailand to be elected to Congress. She is also the first woman with a disability elected to Congress and the first senator to have given birth while serving in office. She is also the second (of three) Asian American women to have ever served in the United States Senate. 

Sources:

“About Tammy | U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois,” Senate.gov, 2014, https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/about-tammy/biography.“Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress – Retro Member Details,” bioguideretro.congress.gov, n.d., https://bioguideretro.congress.gov/Home/MemberDetails?memIndex=D000622.

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