At 44 years old, Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to be elected to the United States Congress, serving seven terms in New York's 12th congressional district. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major-party nomination for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's nomination. During her political career, among other achievements, Chisholm fought for the expansion of food and nutrition programs for the poor and education programs for disadvantaged students. She played a critical role in creating the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which continues to benefit millions of pregnant women and children today.

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