Patricia Roberts Harris

Patricia Roberts Harris ( Birth name: Roberts) ( born May 31, 1924 in Mattoon, Illinois, † March 23, 1985 in Washington DC) was an American diplomat and politician of the Democratic Party.


Early on it became politically active and since 1943, already sit-ins of the civil rights movement in Washington DC in part. In 1965 she was appointed as the first African-American President Lyndon B. Johnson to the U.S. ambassador, and was accredited as such in Luxembourg.

Later she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as the first African-American in the government and was initially dated 23 January 1977 to September 10, 1979 Housing Minister ( Secretary of Housing and Urban Development ). As part of a reshuffle of the Cabinet, it was on August 3, 1979 as Minister of Health, Education and Welfare ( Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare ), before they finally after a reorganization of the ministries of May 4, 1980 to January 20, 1981 as Health Minister ( Secretary of Health and Human Services ) officiated. Patricia Harris was characterized as resolute authorities manager who was also a strong proponent of government involvement in solving social problems.

In 1982, Harris at the Primary of the Democratic Party for the mayoral election in Washington DC part, which is the actual choice of the metropolitan district, given the political strength of the Democrats. She challenged incumbent Marion Barry, but prevailed again with 59 percent of the vote. Three years later, she died of breast cancer.