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Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has died at the age of 90 after a long struggle with health issues and a distinguished political career that saw her break many gender barriers.

The longtime Democratic senator had suffered from health issues in the past year, including a case of shingles that kept her away from the Senate for a month. She also fell at her San Francisco home in August and was briefly hospitalized.

Feinstein stayed in her Senate seat despite pressure to resign due to her health.  She used a wheelchair in the Senate and aides had been seen directing her how to vote.

She was the fifth-oldest person to serve in the Senate. 

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California will appoint her replacement. 

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has died at the age of 90, according to reports.

Her legacy will be one of a Democratic powerhouse who broke down barrier after barrier for women.

She was known for her work on gun issues and judicial issues. 

A fierce advocate of gun control, she championed the assault weapons ban that then-President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994.

She was the first woman to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel that oversee the confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

As chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein led a multiyear review of the CIA’s  interrogation program developed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which led to legislation barring the use of those methods of torture. 

But her tenure became controversial when her health issues – including short-term memory loss – became more apparent.

During the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings in October 2020, progressives were outraged when Feinstein hugged Republican Senator Lindsey Graham at their completion, thanking him for how he had conducted the hearing. There were calls for her to step down as the ranking Democratic member, which she ultimately did. 

Feinstein at a memorial service for assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk in November 1978

She was in a legal battle with trustees of her late husband’s estate in her final days, accusing them of elder abuse, asked they be removed from their position, and charged them with improperly financially enriched his three daughters.

She had appointed her own daughter, Katherine Feinstein, as having her power of attorney.

Feinstein was not running for re-election in 2024.

The race to replace her is competitive with several Democrats running to fill a Senate seat that hasn’t been vacant for 30 years, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff and Katie Porter.

Newsom has said he would appoint a black woman to the job. But he also said he wouldn’t appoint one of the announced candidate. Rep. Lee is black. 

California has a jungle primary, meaning the top two winners, regardless of party, move forward to the general election. That means the heavily-Democratic state could see two Democrats running in the November 2024 election.

Feinstein was born Dianne Goldman in San Francisco on June 22, 1933.

She was raised by a Russian Orthodox mother and Jewish father. 

She studied Stanford University where she graduated in 1955.

Her first foray into politics came in 1960 when then-Gov. Pat Brown appointed her to the California Women’s Parole Board.

She first held public office in 1969, at the age of 35, when she won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

Swearing-in of Diane Feinstein at the Senate in 1992

Feinstein speaking on telephone in private box during NFL game between San Francisco 49ers & Seattle Seahawks; looking at aide

She was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 – the first woman to hold that position.

She had run for mayor of San Francisco twice and lost when tragedy struck. On November 27, 1978, Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White. 

She became acting mayor and was the first woman to serve as a mayor of the city.

She was elected in 1992 to the Senate – the same year as Barbara Boxer. With their election California became the first state to be have two female senators.

Thrice married, Feinstein was predeceased by her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, who died last year. 

She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, a San Francisco County Superior Court judge; her son-in-law, Rick Mariano; and her granddaughter, Eileen Feinstein Mariano.

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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