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Bella Savitsky Abzug was a lawyer, social activist, and feminist leader who served as a United States Representative from 1973 to 1977. She got the nickname “Battling Bella” in her congressional campaign. She was also a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
See the fact file below for more information on the Bella Abzug or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Bella Abzug worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Bella Abzug was born Bella Savitsky on July 24, 1920 in New York City.
- She is Russian Jewish like her parents, who were both immigrants.
- Bella’s father died when she was 13 years old.
- Because she was a girl, she was not allowed to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish in the Orthodox Synagogue.
- Nonetheless, she broke the common practice and recited it every morning in the synagogue because her father had no sons.
- Even at a young age, Bella was not one to shy away from competition and leadership.
- She was president of her class at Walton High School.
- After graduating high school, she studied at the City University of New York.
- At the same time, she studied in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
- In 1944, she earned a law degree from Columbia University.
- The next year, she married Martin Abzug.
- Bella Abzug became a civil rights and peace advocate while she practiced law.
- One of her most famous cases was for the defendants in Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist campaign.
- She founded Women’s Strike for Peace in 1961 and served as chairperson from 1961 to 1970.
- Women’s Strike for Peace protested the nuclear arms race and the US involvement in the Vietnam War.
- She also strongly protested against Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Democratic ticket.
- In 1970, she ran for Congress, defeating incumbent Leonard Farbstein who had held the position for 14 years.
- Her slogan was “This woman’s place is in the House – the House of Representatives!”
- She became U.S. Representative of New York City’s 19th district in 1970.
- Bella was nicknamed “Battling Bella,” “Mother Courage” and “Hurricane Bella” because of her vivacious and assertive demeanor.
- As U.S. Representative, Abzug founded many of USA’s liberal political organizations for women.
- She showed firm support for the Equal Rights Amendment, legislation pushing for women’s rights.
- Abzug, together with Gloria Steinem and Shirley Chisholm, founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971.
- The caucus was formed to grow women’s participation in politics and the government.
- She served as U.S. Representative until 1976 when she decided to run for Senate.
- She did not win the seat in the Senate; she was defeated by Daniel P. Moynihan.
- In 1977, she ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York.
- The next year, a congressional seat was vacated; she ran for it but lost.
- She was one of the first political leaders to call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
- As a member of the Government Operations Committee, she worked on the “Sunshine Laws” under the Freedom of Information Act. These regulations require government hearings to be made available to the public.
- Along with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, she co-authored the Child Development Act.
- She made another congressional bid in 1986 but lost in the general election.
- Her last attempt for a congressional seat was in 1992; however, her party leaders did not back her candidacy.
- Abzug played a significant role at the National Women’s Conference in November, 1977, which led President Jimmy Carter to appoint her as co-chairperson of the National Advisory Committee for Women.
- She was removed from the position in early 1979 after her public criticisms of the Carter administration.
- Abzug went back to practicing law in 1980.
- She remained active politically as she became director of the Women USA Fund and a commentator for a Cable News Network.
- In 1990, she co-founded the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, an international nonprofit organization that champions women’s equality in global policy.
- In 1993, she was appointed chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women by New York Mayor David Dinkins.
- She held that position until 1995.
- Health-wise, she developed breast cancer and heart disease in the latter years of her life.
- She died on March 31, 1998 in New York City.
Bella Abzug Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Bella Abzug across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bella Abzug worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Bella Savitsky Abzug who was a lawyer, social activist, and feminist leader who served as a United States Representative from 1973 to 1977. She got the nickname “Battling Bella” in her congressional campaign. She was also a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bella Abzug Facts
- Bella’s Biography
- Bella’s Life Events
- Complete Timeline
- Picture Narrative
- Bella Said…
- Abzug’s Achievements
- Feminist Leaders
- Campaigns for Women
- Slogans for Bella
- Assessing Abzug’s Leadership
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Link will appear as Bella Abzug Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 7, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.