Oldest Sitting Female U.S Senator Dianne Feinstein Announced To Be Dead

Congresswoman Dianne Feinstein, a prominent Democratic senator elected in the “Year of the Women” from California, who broke gender barriers throughout her tenure in local and national politics, has passed away at the age of 90. 

What is the cause of Dianne Feinstein’s death?

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Three individuals close to the situation confirmed the passing of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to the Associated Press on Friday but the cause of death has not been disclosed to the public yet. Feinstein was married to her second husband Bert, who was 19 years her senior, his death from cancer in 1978 after which she chose to keep his last name. In 1980, the senator remarried Richard Blum, an investor and banker who passed away recently in 2020. Aside from her daughter, Dianne’s granddaughter Eileen and three other stepchildren survive her.

Dianne Feinstein: A Long & Inspiring Political Legacy

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Feinstein, the oldest residing U.S. senator, was a fervent supporter of liberal goals essential to her state, like as environmental protection, reproductive rights, and gun control, but she was also recognized as a pragmatic member who reached out to Republicans and sought a middle ground. She was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969 and was elected as the city’s its first female president in 1978, the same year Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated at City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former supervisor. She became San Francisco’s first female mayor after Moscone’s death. With her accomplishments and growing statewide notoriety, she gained visibility on the national political arena. Feinstein went on to garner more wins for women and the general public worldwide.

Source: Kent Nishimura / New York Times

The California senator, a strong debater who could not suffer fools, was long known for her intellectual zingers and cutting comebacks when challenged on the issues she was most passionate about. But she lost that edge in her later Senate years, as her health deteriorated and she frequently seemed confused while answering questions or addressing publicly. She announced in February 2023 that she will not run for a sixth term the following year. She was away from the Senate for more than two months after that announcement as she recovered from shingles.