Who was the first Black presidential candidate?

Remembering this pioneer of American politics

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It’s been more than 10 years since Barack Obama was sworn in as the first Black president in American history.

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.

This story was published in 2019. It has since been updated.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.