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Dianne Feinstein

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Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein, official Senate photo 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2004
United States Senator
from California
Assumed office
November 10, 1992
Serving with Kamala Harris
Preceded by John Seymour
Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Patrick Leahy
Succeeded byTBD
Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
In office
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by Saxby Chambliss
Succeeded by Mark Warner
Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Richard Burr
Chair of the Senate Narcotics Caucus
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Chuck Grassley
Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Trent Lott
Succeeded by Chuck Schumer
38th Mayor of San Francisco
In office
December 4, 1978 – January 8, 1988
Preceded by George Moscone
Succeeded by Art Agnos
Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
In office
January 8, 1970 – December 4, 1978
Preceded byWilliam Blake
Succeeded by Louise Renne
ConstituencyAt-large district (1970–1978)
2nd district (1978)
Personal details
Dianne Emiel Goldman

(1933-06-22) June 22, 1933 (age 87)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Jack Berman
( m. 1956; div. 1959)

Bertram Feinstein
( m. 1962; died 1978)

( m. 1980)
Children Katherine
Parents Leon Goldman
Betty Rosenburg
Alma mater Stanford University ( BA)
Net worth US$58.5 million (2019) [1]
Website Senate website

Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein ( /ˈfnstn/ FYNE-styne; born Dianne Emiel Goldman; June 22, 1933) is an American politician who has served as the senior United States Senator from California since 1992. A member of the Democratic Party, Feinstein was Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. [2]

Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. [3] In the 1960s, she worked in city government, and she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk by Dan White drew national attention. Feinstein succeeded Moscone as Mayor of San Francisco and became the first woman to serve in that position. During her tenure, she led the renovation of the city's cable car system, and oversaw the 1984 Democratic National Convention.

After losing a race for governor in 1990, Feinstein won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. [4] Feinstein was first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, and the two women became California's first female U.S. Senators. Feinstein has been re-elected five times since then, and in the 2012 election, she received 7.75 million votes—the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history. [5] [6]

Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013, she introduced a new assault weapons bill which failed to pass. Feinstein is the first and only woman to have chaired the Senate Rules Committee (2007–2009) and the Select Committee on Intelligence (2009–2015), and is also the only woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration. [7] [8] At the age of 87, Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator. [9] Upon the retirement of Barbara Mikulski in January 2017, Feinstein became the longest-tenured female U.S. Senator currently serving. Having won reelection in 2018 to a six-year term expiring in January 2025, Feinstein will become the longest-serving U.S. Senator from California and longest-serving female U.S. Senator in history on November 5, 2022 should she serve her full term.

Early life and education

Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman [2] in San Francisco, to Leon Goldman, a surgeon, and his wife Betty ( née Rosenburg), a former model. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Poland. Her maternal grandparents, the Rosenburg family, were from Saint Petersburg, Russia. [10] While they were of German-Jewish ancestry, [11] they practiced the Russian Orthodox (Christian) faith, as was required for Jews residing in Saint Petersburg. [10] [12] The Christian faith was passed down to Feinstein's mother, who insisted on her transferral from a Jewish day school to a prestigious local Catholic school; however, Senator Feinstein lists her own religion as Judaism. [13] Feinstein graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco in 1951 and from Stanford University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. [3]

Early political career

Feinstein speaks at a rally in San Francisco's Chinatown in the late 1970s with future husband Richard C. Blum (left).

From 1955 to 1956, Feinstein was a fellow at the Coro Foundation in San Francisco. [14] In 1960, Feinstein was appointed to the California Women's Parole Board by then-California Governor Pat Brown. She served on the board until 1966. [15]

President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

In 1969, Feinstein was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. [16] [17] She remained on the Board for nine years.

During her tenure on the Board of Supervisors, she unsuccessfully ran for mayor of San Francisco twice, in 1971 against mayor Joseph Alioto, and in 1975, when she lost the contest for a runoff slot (against George Moscone) by one percentage point, to supervisor John Barbagelata.

Because of her position, Feinstein became a target of the New World Liberation Front, an anti-capitalist and terrorist group which carried out bombings in California in the 1970s. The NWLF placed a bomb on the windowsill of the Feinstein home, which failed to explode. They later shot out the windows of a beach house she owned. [18]

She was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 with initial opposition from Quentin L. Kopp.

On November 27, 1978, Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by a rival politician, Dan White, who had resigned from the Board of Supervisors two weeks earlier. Feinstein was in City Hall at the time of the shootings and discovered Milk's body after hearing the shots. [19] [20] As President of the Board of Supervisors upon the death of Moscone, Feinstein succeeded to the mayoralty on December 4, 1978. [21]

Mayor of San Francisco

As mayor of San Francisco, 1978–1988

Feinstein served out the remainder of Moscone's term and was elected in her own right in 1979. She was re-elected in 1983 and served a full second term. [22]

One of Feinstein's first challenges as mayor was the state of the San Francisco cable car system, which had been shut down for emergency repairs in 1979; an engineering study concluded that it needed comprehensive rebuilding at a cost of $60 million. Feinstein helped win federal funding for the bulk of the work. The system closed for rebuilding in 1982 and the work was completed just in time for the 1984 Democratic National Convention. [23] Feinstein also oversaw planning policies to increase the number of high-rise buildings in San Francisco. [24]

Feinstein was seen as a relatively moderate Democrat in one of the country's most liberal cities. As a supervisor, she was considered part of the centrist bloc that included Dan White and was generally opposed to Moscone. As mayor, Feinstein angered the city's large gay community by refusing to march in a gay rights parade and by vetoing domestic partner legislation in 1982. [25] In the 1980 presidential election, while a majority of Bay Area Democrats continued to support Senator Ted Kennedy's primary challenge to President Jimmy Carter even after it was clear Kennedy could not win, Feinstein was a strong supporter of the Carter– Mondale ticket. She was given a high-profile speaking role on the opening night of the August Democratic National Convention, urging delegates to reject the Kennedy delegates' proposal to "open" the convention, thereby allowing delegates to ignore their states' popular vote, a proposal that was soundly defeated.

In the run-up to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, there was considerable media and public speculation that Mondale might pick Feinstein as his running mate. However, he chose Geraldine Ferraro instead. Also in 1984, Feinstein proposed banning handguns in San Francisco, and became subject to a recall attempt organized by the White Panther Party. She won the recall election and finished her second term as mayor on January 8, 1988.

In 1985, at a press conference, Feinstein revealed details about the hunt for serial killer Richard Ramirez, and in so doing antagonised detectives by revealing too many details of his crimes and affected their investigation of an elusive criminal. [26]

In 1987, City and State magazine named Feinstein the nation's "Most Effective Mayor". Feinstein served on the Trilateral Commission during the 1980s while mayor of San Francisco.

Gubernatorial election

In 1990, Feinstein made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of California. Although she won the Democratic Party's nomination for the office, she lost in the general election to Republican Senator Pete Wilson, who vacated his seat in the Senate to assume the governorship. In 1992, she was fined $190,000 for failure to properly report campaign contributions and expenditures associated with that campaign. [27]

U.S. Senate career


Official Senate photo from 2003

On November 3, 1992, Feinstein won a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated a year earlier when Senator Pete Wilson resigned to become governor. The election was held at the same time as the general election for U.S. president and other offices. Barbara Boxer was elected at the same time for the Senate seat to be vacated by Alan Cranston. Because Feinstein was elected to an unexpired term, she became a senator as soon as the election was certified in November while Boxer would not take office until the expiration of Cranston's term in January; thus Feinstein became California's senior senator, even though she was elected at the same time as Boxer and Boxer had previous congressional service. Feinstein also became the first female Jewish senator in the United States, though Boxer was also Jewish. [28] [29] [30] Feinstein and Boxer were also the first female pair of U.S. Senators representing any state at the same time. [28] Feinstein was re-elected in 1994, 2000, 2006, 2012, and 2018. In 2012, Feinstein claimed the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 7.75 million votes. [5] The record was previously held by her California colleague Barbara Boxer, who received 6.96 million votes in her 2004 re-election.

In October 2017, Feinstein declared her intention to run for re-election in 2018. [31] Feinstein lost the endorsement of the California Democratic Party's executive board, which opted to support State Senator Kevin de León in the 2018 election; [32] however, she finished first in the state's "jungle primary" and was re-elected in the general election on November 6, 2018. [33]


Caucus memberships

Political positions

According to the Los Angeles Times, Feinstein emphasized her centrism when she first ran for statewide offices in the 1990s, at a time when California was more conservative. Over time, she has moved slightly left at the same time as California became one of the most Democratic states, [38] [39] [40] although she has never joined the ranks of progressives, and belonged to the moderate now-defunct Senate New Democrat Coalition caucus.

Feinstein with President George W. Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, October 25, 2007


On June 13, 1994, while delivering the commencement address at Stanford Stadium, Feinstein said,

It is time for a rational plan for defense conversion instead of the random closing of bases and the piecemeal cancellation of defense contracts. Otherwise, we risk losing, for both state and nation, the greatest resources of scientific, technical and human capital ever gathered together in human history. [41]

In 2017, Feinstein criticized the banning of transgender enlistments in the military under the Trump administration. [42]

Feinstein voted in favor of Trump's $675 billion defense budget bill for FY 2019. [43]

National security

President Barack Obama signs the New START in the Oval Office, February 2, 2011

In 2012, Feinstein voted for the extension of the Patriot Act and the FISA provisions. [44]

Health care

Feinstein has supported the Affordable Care Act, repeatedly voting to defeat initiatives aimed against it. [45]

She has voted for regulating tobacco as a drug; expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program; overriding the president's veto on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility; increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generic drugs; negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drugs; allowing re-importation of Rx drugs from Canada; allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages; including prescription drugs under Medicare; Medicare means-testing; etc. She has voted against the Paul Ryan Budget's Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts; allowing tribal Indians to opt out of federal healthcare; etc. [46] Feinstein's Congress voting record was assessed as "88%" by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the figure ostensibly reflecting the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position. [47]

In an April 2017 town hall meeting in San Francisco, Feinstein stated [48] [49] that

If single-payer health care is going to mean the complete takeover by the government of all health care, I am not there.

In July 2017, during a news conference at the University of California, San Diego, Feinstein estimated that Democratic opposition would prove sufficient to defeat Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [50]

In August 2017, Feinstein wrote in an op-ed that President Trump could secure health care reform if he was willing to compromise with Democrats: "We now know that such a closed process on a major issue like health care doesn't work. The only path forward is a transparent process that allows every senator to bring their ideas to the table." [51]

Capital punishment

When Feinstein in 1990 first ran for statewide office, she favored capital punishment. [38] In 2004, she called for the death penalty in the case of San Francisco police Officer Isaac Espinoza who was killed while on duty. [52] By 2018, she opposed capital punishment. [38] [39]

Energy and environment

In 2017 Feinstein achieved a score of 100% from the League of Conservation Voters. Her lifetime average score is 90%. [53]

Feinstein co-sponsored (along with Tom Coburn, an Oklahoman Republican) an amendment through the Senate to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 that eliminated the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The Senate passed the amendment on June 16, 2011. Introduced in 2004, the subsidy provided a 45-cent-per-gallon credit on pure ethanol, and a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. These subsidies had resulted in an annual expenditure of $6 billion. [54] [55]

Supreme Court nominations

In September 2005, Feinstein was one of five Democratic senators to vote against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts on the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that Roberts had "failed to state his positions on such social controversies as abortion and the right to die." [56]

In January 2006, Feinstein stated that she would vote against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, though she expressed disapproval of a filibuster: "When it comes to filibustering a Supreme Court appointment, you really have to have something out there, whether it's gross moral turpitude or something that comes to the surface. This is a man I might disagree with, (but) that doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court." [57]

On July 12, 2009, Feinstein stated her belief that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor would be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, praising her for her experience and for overcoming "adversity and disadvantage". [58]

After President Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court in March 2016, Feinstein met with Garland on April 6 and later called on Republicans to do "this institution the credit of sitting down, and meeting with him". [59]

In February 2017, Feinstein requested that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch provide information on cases in which he had assisted with decision making regarding either litigation or craft strategy. In mid-March, Feinstein sent a letter to Gorsuch stating her request had not been followed up on. [60] Feinstein formally announced her opposition to his nomination on April 3, citing Gorsuch's "record at the Department of Justice, his tenure on the bench, his appearance before the Senate and his written questions for the record". [61]

Following the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, Feinstein received a July 30, 2018 letter from Christine Blasey Ford in which Ford accused Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. [62] Ford requested that her allegation be kept confidential. [63] Feinstein did not refer the allegation to the FBI until September 14, 2018, [62] after the Senate Judiciary Committee had completed its hearings on Kavanaugh's nomination and "after leaks to the media about [the Ford allegation] had reached a "fever pitch". [64] [62] Feinstein faced "sharp scrutiny" for her decision to keep quiet about the Ford allegation for several weeks; Feinstein responded, saying she kept the letter and identity of the accuser confidential because Ford had requested it. [64] Following an additional hearing and a supplemental FBI investigation, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2018. [65]

Weapons sales

Feinstein in 2010, as she hosted an event at her home attended by five members of the U.S. Senate

In September 2016, Feinstein backed the Obama administration's plan to sell more than $1.15 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. [66]

Mass surveillance; citizens' privacy

On May 12, 2011, Feinstein co-sponsored PIPA. [67] In January 2012, Feinstein met with representatives of technology companies, including Google and Facebook. According to a spokesperson, Feinstein "is doing all she can to ensure that the bill is balanced and protects the intellectual property concerns of the content community without unfairly burdening legitimate businesses such as Internet search engines". [68]

Following her 2012 vote to extend the Patriot Act and the FISA provisions, [44] and after the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures involving the National Security Agency (NSA), Feinstein promoted and supported measures to continue the information collection programs. Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss also defended the National Security Agency's request to Verizon for all the metadata about phone calls made within the U.S. and from the U.S. to other countries. They said the information gathered by intelligence on the phone communications is used to connect phone lines to terrorists and that it did not contain the content of the phone calls or messages. [69] Foreign Policy wrote that she had a "reputation as a staunch defender of NSA practices and [of] the White House's refusal to stand by collection activities targeting foreign leaders". [70]

In October 2013, she criticized the NSA for monitoring telephone calls of foreign leaders friendly to the US. [71] In November 2013, she promoted the FISA Improvements Act bill which included a "backdoor search provision" that allows intelligence agencies to continue certain warrantless searches as long as they are logged and "available for review" to various agencies. [72]

In June 2013, Feinstein labeled Edward Snowden a "traitor" after his leaks went public. In October of the same year, she stated that she stood by those comments. [73]

While praising the NSA, Feinstein had accused the CIA of snooping and removing files through Congress members' computers, stating, "The CIA did not ask the committee or its staff if the committee had access to the internal review or how we obtained it. Instead, the CIA just went and searched the committee's computer." [74] She claimed the "CIA's search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution". [75] [76]

After the 2016 FBI–Apple encryption dispute, Feinstein, along with Richard Burr, sponsored a bill that would be likely to criminalize all forms of strong encryption in electronic communication between citizens. [77] [78] [79] [80] The bill would require technology companies to design their encryption so that they can provide law enforcement with user data in an "intelligible format" when required to do so by court order. [77] [78] [79] [80]

In 2020, Feinstein co sponsored the EARN IT act, which seeks to create a 19-member committee to decide a list of best practices websites must follow to be protected by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. [81] The EARN IT act effectively outlaws end-to-end encryption, depriving the world of secure, private communications tools. [82]

Assault weapons ban

Feinstein introduced the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which became law in 1994 and expired in 2004. [83] In January 2013, about one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Feinstein, along with Representative Carolyn McCarthy from New York, proposed a bill that would "ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing or importation of 150 specific firearms including semiautomatic rifles or pistols that can be used with a detachable or fixed ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and have specific military-style features, including pistol grips, grenade launchers or rocket launchers". The bill would have exempted 900 models of guns used for sport and hunting. [83] [84] Feinstein commented on the bill, saying, "The common thread in each of these shootings is the gunman used a semi-automatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition magazines. Military assault weapons only have one purpose, and in my opinion, it's for the military." [85] The bill failed on a Senate vote of 60 to 40. [86]

Medical marijuana

Feinstein voted in support of legislation to override a Department of Veterans Affairs' prohibition on allowing doctors to recommend cannabis to veterans in states that sanction its use as a medicine. The legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 21, 2015. However, she was the only Democrat who joined a minority of Republicans in voting against a measure designed to prevent federal interference with states' medical marijuana laws. However, that legislation passed with a 21–9 vote on June 18, 2015. [87]


In September 2017, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Feinstein admitted the legality of the program was questionable while citing this as a reason for why a law should be passed. [88] In January 2018, in her opening remarks to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Feinstein said she was concerned there might be racial motivation in the choice by the Trump administration to terminate the temporary protected status, based on comments he made denigrating African countries as well as Haiti and El Salvador. [89]


In July 2015, Feinstein announced her support for the Iran nuclear deal framework, tweeting that the deal would usher in "unprecedented & intrusive inspections to verify cooperation" on the part of Iran. [90]

On June 7, 2017, Feinstein and Senator Bernie Sanders issued dual statements urging the Senate to forgo a vote for sanctions on Iran in response to the Tehran attacks that occurred earlier in the day. [91]

In July 2017, Feinstein voted in favor of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that grouped together sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea. [92]


In September 2016, in advance of a UN Security Council resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, Feinstein signed an AIPAC-sponsored letter urging President Barack Obama to veto "one-sided" resolutions against Israel. [93]

Feinstein opposed President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. She stated: "Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or relocating our embassy to Jerusalem – will spark violence and embolden extremists on both sides of the debate." [94]

North Korea

In July 2017, during an appearance on Face the Nation after North Korea conducted a second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, Feinstein said the country had proven itself to be a danger to the US and stated her disappointment with the lack of response from China. [95]

On August 8, 2017, in response to reports that North Korea had achieved successful miniaturization of nuclear warheads, Feinstein issued a statement insisting isolation of North Korea had proven ineffective and President Trump's rhetoric was not aiding in the resolve of potential conflict, additionally calling for the US to "quickly engage North Korea in a high-level dialogue without any preconditions". [96]

In September 2017, following President Trump delivering his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly in which he threatened North Korea, Feinstein released a statement disagreeing with his remarks: "Trump's bombastic threat to destroy North Korea and his refusal to present any positive pathways forward on the many global challenges we face are severe disappointments." [97]


Feinstein supports a conciliatory approach between China and Taiwan and fostered increased dialogue between high-level Chinese representatives and U.S. senators during her first term as senator. [98] When asked about her relation with Beijing, Feinstein said, "I sometimes say that in my last life maybe I was Chinese." [98]

Feinstein has criticized Beijing's missile tests near Taiwan and has called for dismantlement of missiles pointed at the island. [98] [99] She promoted stronger business ties between China and Taiwan over confrontation, and suggested that the U.S. patiently "use two-way trade across Taiwan Strait as a platform for more political dialogue and closer ties." [99]

She believes that deeper cross-strait economic integration "will one day lead to political integration and will ultimately provide the solution" [99] to the Taiwan issue.

On July 27, 2018, reports surfaced that a Chinese staff member who worked as Feinstein's personal driver, gofer and liaison to the Asian-American community for 20 years, was caught reporting to China's Ministry of State Security. [100] [101] According to the reports, Feinstein was contacted by the FBI five years ago warning her about the suspected employee. The employee was later interviewed by authorities and forced to retire by Feinstein. [102] No criminal charges were filed against the individual. [100]


Feinstein has served on the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence since before 9/11 and her time on the committee has coincided with the Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq and the debates on the torture/"enhanced interrogation" of terrorists and alleged terrorists. Speaking on the Senate floor on December 9, 2014, the day parts of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture were released to the public, Feinstein called the government's detention and interrogation program a "stain on our values and on our history", following the release of 600 pages declassified out of a 6000-page report about CIA methods. [103]

Fusion GPS interview transcript release

On January 9, 2018, Feinstein caused a stir when she, as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a transcript [104] of the committee's August 2017 interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson about the dossier regarding connections between the president's campaign and the Russian government. [105] She did this unilaterally after the committee's chairman, Chuck Grassley, refused to release the transcript of Simpson's testimony. [106]

Presidential politics

The 2009 line outside Feinstein's office for unclaimed tickets to the First inauguration of Barack Obama

As a superdelegate in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Feinstein had declared that she would support Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. However, once Barack Obama became the presumptive nominee for the party, she fully backed his candidacy. Days after Obama amassed enough delegates to win the Democratic Party nomination, Feinstein lent her Washington, D.C., home to both Clinton and Obama to have a private one-on-one meeting. [107] Feinstein did not attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver because she had fallen and broken her ankle earlier in the month. [108]

She chaired the United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and acted as mistress of ceremonies, introducing each participant at the 2009 presidential inauguration. [109]

Heading into the 2016 presidential election, Feinstein was one of sixteen Democratic female senators to sign a letter, on October 20, 2013, endorsing Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. [110]

Feinstein and Kamala Harris in 2017

Heading into the 2020 presidential election, Feinstein indicated her support for potential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. This came as a surprise to many pundits, due to the potential candidacy of fellow California senator Kamala Harris, about whom Feinstein said "I'm a big fan of Sen. Harris, and I work with her. But she's brand-new here, so it takes a little bit of time to get to know somebody." [111] [112]

Awards and honors

On June 4, 1977, Dianne Feinstein was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. [113] She was awarded the Legion of Honour by France in 1984. [114] Feinstein was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service by the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution on November 3, 2001, in Los Angeles.

In 2002, Feinstein won the American Medical Association's Nathan Davis Award for "the Betterment of the Public Health". [115]

In 2015, she was named as one of The Forward 50. [116]

Offices held

Public offices
Office Type Location Elected Term began Term ended
Mayor Executive San Francisco N/A December 4, 1978 January 8, 1980
Mayor Executive San Francisco 1979 January 8, 1980 January 8, 1984
Mayor Executive San Francisco 1983 January 8, 1984 January 8, 1988
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 1992 November 10, 1992 January 3, 1995
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 1994 January 3, 1995 January 3, 2001
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 2000 January 3, 2001 January 3, 2007
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 2006 January 3, 2007 January 3, 2013
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 2012 January 3, 2013 January 3, 2019
Senator Legislature Washington, D.C. 2018 January 3, 2019 Ongoing
United States Senate service
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class
1993–1995 103rd U.S. Senate Democratic Bill Clinton Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules 1
1995–1997 104th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Rules 1
1997–1999 105th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules 1
1999–2001 106th U.S. Senate Republican Bill Clinton Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules 1
2001–2003 107th U.S. Senate Democratic George W. Bush Appropriations, Judiciary, Energy, Rules, Intelligence 1
2003–2005 108th U.S. Senate Republican George W. Bush Appropriations, Judiciary, Energy, Rules, Intelligence 1
2005–2007 109th U.S. Senate Republican George W. Bush Appropriations, Judiciary, Energy, Rules, Intelligence 1
2007–2009 110th U.S. Senate Democratic George W. Bush Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules (chair), Intelligence 1
2009–2011 111th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules, Intelligence (chair) 1
2011–2013 112th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules, Intelligence (chair) 1
2013–2015 113th U.S. Senate Democratic Barack Obama Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules, Intelligence (chair) 1
2015–2017 114th U.S. Senate Republican Barack Obama Appropriations, Judiciary, Rules, Intelligence (vice-chair) 1
2017–2019 115th U.S. Senate Republican Donald Trump Appropriations, Judiciary (Ranking Member), Rules, Intelligence 1
2019–2021 116th U.S. Senate Republican Donald Trump Appropriations, Judiciary (Ranking Member), Rules, Intelligence 1

Personal life

Feinstein has been married three times. In 1956, Feinstein married Jack Berman ( d. 2002), who was then working in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. She and Berman divorced three years later. Their daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano ( b. 1957), was the presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court for twelve years, through 2012. [117] [118] In 1962, shortly after beginning her career in politics, Feinstein married her second husband, neurosurgeon Bertram Feinstein, who died of colon cancer in 1978. In 1980, Feinstein married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker.

In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth-wealthiest senator, with an estimated net worth of US$26 million. [119] By 2005, her net worth had increased to between US$43 million and US$99 million. [120] Her 347-page financial-disclosure statement [121] – characterized by the San Francisco Chronicle as "nearly the size of a phone book" – claims to draw clear lines between her assets and those of her husband, with many of her assets in blind trusts. [122]

In January 2017, Feinstein had an artificial cardiac pacemaker inserted at George Washington University Hospital. [123] In September 2020, after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was widespread concern among Democratic senators and aides about whether she was capable of leading an aggressive effort against President Trump's pick to replace Ginsburg. [124]

In mass media

A 2019 film, The Report, [125] about the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA's use of torture, extensively features Feinstein, who was portrayed by Annette Bening. [126]

Electoral history

See also


  1. ^ "The Wealthiest Members of Congress—And How They Made Their Millions". December 31, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Fe". Real Names of Famous Folk. Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "10 Things You Didn't Know About Dianne Feinstein | National News | US News". usnews. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  4. ^ Finnegan, Michael. "De León captures California's anti-Trump furor, but struggles to gain traction in run to oust Feinstein". Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Charles Mahtesian (November 26, 2012). "Feinstein's record: 7.3 million votes". Politico. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Romano, Andrew (February 28, 2018). "Kevin de León takes on Dianne Feinstein from the left". Yahoo News. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Feinstein plays key role". The San Diego Union-Tribune. January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "Millions witness moment". The Straits Times. Singapore. Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. January 21, 2009. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
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Additional sources

  • Roberts, Jerry (1994). Dianne Feinstein: Never Let Them See You Cry, Harpercollins. ISBN  0-06-258508-8
  • Talbot, David (2012). Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, New York: Simon and Schuster. 480 p. ISBN  978-1-4391-0821-5.
  • Weiss, Mike (2010). Double Play: The Hidden Passions Behind the Double Assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, Vince Emery Productions. ISBN  978-0-9825650-5-6

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