Former Rep. Pat Schroeder, a pioneering advocate for women's rights and a leader in Congress for 24 years, has died at the age of 82.
Schroeder, who served as a representative from Colorado from 1973 to 1997, was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. She was also the first woman to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1987.
During her time in Congress, Schroeder was a vocal advocate for women's rights and a champion of progressive causes. She cosponsored the Equal Rights Amendment and was a leader in the fight against violence against women. She also supported laws to protect the rights of working mothers and to expand access to health care and education.
Schroeder was known for her sharp wit and humor, which she often used to make a point in Congress. She famously said of the all-male Armed Services Committee, “The men have been in charge for so long that they think the women are still in the kitchen making the coffee.”
Schroeder also fought for the rights of LGBT people, which was not a popular position at the time. In 1986, she was one of the first members of Congress to speak out in favor of same-sex marriage.
After leaving Congress, Schroeder worked as a lobbyist and consultant. She also served on the boards of several organizations and foundations, including the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Schroeder's legacy as a trailblazer and a champion of women's rights will live on. She was an inspiration to many who followed in her footsteps and will be remembered for her advocacy and legacy of leadership.