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Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi (born March 26, 1940) is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives; that is, the leader of the Democratic Party in that body.

Born Nancy D'Alesandro in Baltimore, Maryland, Pelosi became involved in politics at an early age, as her father, Thomas L. J. D’Alesandro, Jr, was a member of the House and a mayor of Baltimore.

Pelosi attended Trinity College in Washington, DC, where she met her future husband, Paul Pelosi. When the couple married, they moved to his hometown of San Francisco, California, where his brother served on the city's Board of Supervisors. Once the youngest of their five children had entered school, Nancy Pelosi became involved in Democratic Party politics in the city, working her way up to party chairwoman for Northern California, and joining forces with one of the leaders of California Democratic Party politics, San Francisco Representative Phillip Burton.

When Burton died in 1983, his wife Sala won a special election to complete his term. When she became ill with cancer, she suggested that Pelosi run for her seat. Pelosi won in a special election to succeed Burton in 1987 and has won every election since then. After the Tiananmen protests of 1989, Pelosi became a supporter of the Chinese democracy movement and vocal critic of the government of the People's Republic of China and sponsored the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992.

In the House, she served on the Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, and spent long hours raising funds for other members. In 2001, she was elected to the position of minority whip. Since then, she has campaigned for candidates in 30 states and in 90 Congressional districts, garnering support for her further climb to the top.

In 2002, she was elected minority leader. She is characterized as part of the party's liberal wing.

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