27ºF

Who was first black presidential candidate?

Remembering this pioneer of American politics

(Getty Images)

It’s been more than 10 years since Barack Obama was sworn in as the first black president in American history, and now black candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker recently announced their presidential bids for 2020.

But who was the first black presidential candidate for a major party?

The answer to that trivia question is a woman by the name of Shirley Chisholm, a congresswoman from New York.

In 1972, Chisholm not only was the first black person, male or female, to run for president within a major party, but she became the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Chisholm ended up earning 152 delegates during the primary election in 1972, well behind the 1,728 delegates Democratic nominee George McGovern ultimately earned.

Chisholm’s career in Congress ended in 1983, and she died in 2005 after suffering a series of strokes. 
In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.