Historical Highlights

Representative Leonor Sullivan of Missouri

September 01, 1988
Representative Leonor Sullivan of Missouri Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Representative Leonor Sullivan of Mississippi, a 12-term House veteran, served as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus in the 1950s and 1960s.
On this date, Representative Leonor Sullivan of Missouri died in St. Louis. Elected to the 83rd Congress (1953–1955), Sullivan represented a reapportioned district that covered much of the area once represented by her late husband, John Sullivan. Initially, Democratic leaders rejected Leonor Sullivan as a candidate believing she could not win the general election for the 82nd Congress (1951–1953). After their nominee lost the campaign, Sullivan won the Democratic Party primary in 1952 and then defeated the Republican incumbent. In the House, Sullivan became an advocate for consumer affairs. She once remarked, “You are faced with an arena of supreme importance to the lives and health and safety and well being of the American people—all of the foods we eat, all of the drugs and devices we use for health purposes, all of the cosmetics used not only by women but in increasing numbers by men, as well.” During the 93rd and 94th Congresses (1973–1977), she chaired the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Her accomplishments included passage of the 1976 Fishery and Conservation Management Act, an environmental bill which established a 200-mile fisheries conservation zone off the coasts of the United States. After 13 terms in the House, Sullivan retired from Congress in 1977.

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