Dianne Feinstein, 1933

  • Dianne-Feinstein-WWP

Woman Category: Politics & LeadersWoman Tags: Mayor, Senator, and SF Bay Area Women

  • HerStory

    The first female mayor of San Francisco and the longest-serving member of the US Senate.

    Born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood, she was redirected from a Jewish religious school to a private Catholic high school to learn discipline. She initially wanted to study medicine but ended up graduating Stanford University with a degree in History and Political Science.
    Feinstein’s political career had many firsts, starting with being the first woman to head the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco. She also had her share of disappointments, as when she lost twice the elections for the position of mayor of San Francisco. Several years after, following the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, whom she found shot to death, she replaced Moscone in the office, and later elected to stay in the position.
    In 1992, together with Barbara Boxer, she became one of California’s first female senators and continued in conceiving achievements when she became the first woman to assume the role of the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, as well as the first woman to chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Today she is the oldest member of the Senate. Her most significant contribution was leading six years review of the CIA’s use of torture.
    Feinstein is one of the wealthiest senators of the US, with an estimated net worth of $58 million. The reports attribute a large portion of her wealth to her third husband, investment banker Richard C. Blum. Her only daughter, Katherine Feinstein, is a former Superior Court judge.

    “Compromise, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t a dirty word”

    “Compromise, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t a dirty word”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • During her time as mayor, the famous San Francisco cable car system was rebuilt.
    • Her first marriage ended shortly after her daughter was born since her husband expected her to devote herself to the household, and she wanted to develop her career.
    • Her second husband, Dr. Bert Feinstein, whose surname she still carries, was almost twenty years her senior.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Creations By and About Her:

    * Books about her


    * 1987 “Nation’s Most Effective Mayor” by City and State Magazine
    * 2001 Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
    * 2007 Legislator of the Year award from the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
    * 2017 Legislative Leadership Award from the Association of California Water Agencies

  • Watch and Learn More

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Booking.com


  • The day that shaped Dianne Feinstein

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein opens up about her barrier-breaking five-decade career and the tragic double murder that put her on that path.

  • Photo credit - Feinstein's website