A Look Back at Dianne Feinstein’s Political Career

A remarkable chapter in California politics is coming to a close after more than 30 years. On Tuesday, Dianne Feinstein – California’s longest-serving U.S. senator – announced her retirement from office.

Feinstein was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, becoming the first female senator from California. Two years later, she authored the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which remains one of her signature legislative accomplishments. At 89, she is currently the oldest member of Congress.

Feinstein began her career in 1969 as a San Francisco County supervisor. She was the first woman ever elected to the board and later became its first female board president.

Feinstein’s career in local politics was transformed by tragedy. In 1978, in an unforgettable televised moment, she was tasked with announcing the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. She later succeeded Moscone as mayor, becoming the first woman to hold that office. She ran unsuccessfully for California governor before her election to the U.S. Senate.  

“Senator Feinstein has been a powerful champion for California and California values on the national stage for three decades – changing lives across our state and nation for the better while opening doors for generations of women leaders,” said Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.  

President Joe Biden called Feinstein a 'dear friend.'

“I can honestly say that Dianne Feinstein is one of the very best. I look forward to continuing to work with her as she serves out her term,” he added

“Sen. Feinstein will leave a long legacy of legislative achievements and shattered glass ceilings that young women everywhere can look to and be inspired by as they too consider what service they can do for their country,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Read more about Dianne Feinstein’s incredible life and career here