Shirley Chisholm, née Shirley Anita St. Hill, (born November 30, 1924, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.—died January 1, 2005, Ormond Beach, Florida), American politician, the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
Shirley St. Hill was the daughter of immigrants; her father was from British Guiana (now Guyana) and her mother from Barbados. She grew up in Barbados and in her native Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Brooklyn College (B.A., 1946). While teaching nursery school and serving as director of the Friends Day Nursery in Brooklyn, she studied elementary education at Columbia University (M.A., 1951) and married Conrad Q. Chisholm in 1949 (divorced 1977). An education consultant for New York City’s day-care division, she was also active with community and political groups, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and her district’s Unity Democratic Club. In 1964–68 she represented her Brooklyn district in the New York state legislature.