Congresswoman, educator and advocate BARBARA JORDAN died due to complications with multiple sclerosis. In 1972, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives, becoming the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in the House. In 1974, while serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan made an influential televised speech supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. She was later mentioned as a possible running mate to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Her speech at the 1976 Democratic National Convention is considered by many historians to have been among the best convention keynote speech in modern history. She was the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address. In 1994 Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jordan was a Lesbian with a longtime companion of more than twenty years, Nancy Earl; Jordan never publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation, but in her obituary, the Houston Chronicle mentioned her longtime relationship with Earl.