First Latina Woman Serves in the US Congress

On August 29, 1989, the first Latina woman to serve in the US Congress began her first term.  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was born in Havana, Cuba on July 15, 1952, and immigrated to the US with her family when she was 7. She earned a BA and MS from Florida International University, and began her career as an educator.  After successfully holding several offices in Florida’s state government, she ran for Congress.  Ros-Lehtinen is a staunch conservative on most issues, and an outspoken critic of Fidel Castro.  However, she is one of three Republican members of the LGBT Equality Caucus, of which she is a founding member and a vice-chairperson. She returned to Congress again in 2013, re-elected by a decisive majority of her constituents.

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