Former Rep. Pat Schroeder, who was a pioneer for women’s and family rights in Congress, died Monday night, her former press secretary said. She was 82.
She represented Colorado’s 1st Congressional district from 1973-1997.
Andrea Camp, Schroeder’s former press secretary, said the former lawmaker suffered a stroke recently and died at a hospital in Celebration, Florida, where she has been living in recent years.
“Pat Schroeder blazed the trail. Every woman in this house is walking in her footsteps,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.
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Lowey took over from Schroeder as Democratic chair of the congressional caucus on women’s issues.
Schroeder served for 24 years, rising through the Democratic ranks, as she built a reputation for using her rapier wit to take on the powerful elite, shaking up institutions and forcing entities to acknowledge women’s role in government.
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She was unafraid of embarrassing her congressional colleagues and became an icon for the feminist movement.
Schroeder retired in 1997 and her parting shot to Congress came the following year when she penned a book titled “24 Years of Housework … and the Place is Still a Mess. My Life in Politics.″
The tell-all book chronicled her frustration with the male-dominated legislature and the general slow pass of getting anything done in the federal government.
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She was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report