Shirley Chisholm once said of her unsuccessful presidential bid, “I ran because somebody had to do it first.” The 37th stamp in the Black Heritage series features a painting of Chisholm by artist Robert Shetterly.

According to, Although dismissed at the time, Shirley Chisholm was a Presidential candidate of considerable substance and experience. She’d served for years in the New York State Assembly and had a strong, loyal base of support in Brooklyn. As a member of Congress, she fought for programs like Head Start, school lunches and food stamps. She was one of only 19 Representatives willing to hold hearings on the Vietnam War. And she was a founding member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Women’s Caucus.


According to, Chisholm served seven terms representing the Brooklyn-based 12th Congressional District and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971. She also spent four years in the New York State Legislature and worked as an educator. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education at Columbia and was authority on early education and child welfare.

After leaving Washington, she taught politics and women’s studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and Spelman College in Atlanta, before moving to Florida in 1991.