Today, President Obama awards Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Chisholm represented her native New York from 1969 to 1983, becoming a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1972, Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination, making history as the first African American from a major party to run for president. As congresswoman Chisholm staffed her office entirely with women, and remained a lifelong advocate for minority education and employment.