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Holtzman, Elizabeth, congresswoman, politician and lawyer
Elizabeth Holtzman, a child of Russian immigrants, grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School. In 1972, at the age of thirty-one, Holtzman defeated long-term congressman Emanuel Cellar in the Democratic primary, and went on to victory in the general election, becoming the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. She speaks extensively of this election in her oral history. Holtzman served in Congress from 1973-1981. She narrowly lost a bid for the Senate in 1980 to the Republican candidate Alphonse D’Amato. Although no longer in Washington, her career in public service continued; she was the district attorney for Kings County, Brooklyn, serving from 1982-1990, and New York City’s comptroller from 1990-1993.
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