33¢ Patricia Roberts Harris
Black Heritage Series
Issue Date: January 27, 2000
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11.5 x 11.25
It is difficult to list Patricia Roberts Harris’ overwhelming number of accomplishments. She became the first black woman to serve as an American ambassador in 1965 when she was appointed by Lyndon Johnson. This was just one of the many firsts Harris achieved.
Harris (1924-1985) graduated first in her class at George Washington University law school in 1960. In 1969, after completing her role as ambassador, Howard University made her the first woman to head a U.S. law school. In 1970, Harris became a partner at a Washington, D.C., law firm. Soon after, companies including International Business Machines and Chase Manhattan Bank chose her to sit on their board of directors, making her the first black woman to do so.
Harris became the first black woman in the cabinet in 1977, and one of the few Americans to hold three cabinet positions. At different times in her career, she served as Secretary of: Housing and Urban Development; Health, Education, and Welfare; and Health and Human Services.
Harris’ numerous other achievements include being the first black woman to lead a national political party committee, and the first black woman to serve as the U.S. representative to the United Nations. Harris ran for Mayor of Washington, D.C., in 1982.