The longest-serving female U.S. senator is dead. Dianne Feinstein’s political career reached the national spotlight in 1978 when she became San Francisco’s first-ever woman mayor. Feinstein is credited with helping save the city’s fabled cable car system and was named the “most effective mayor” in the U.S. by City and State magazine in 1987, just three years after surviving a recall vote.
In 1992, she became the first female U.S. senator in the state of California. Feinstein introduced legislation in 1994 that banned assault weapons, a ban that expired in 2004. She won her fifth reelection in 2018, even though the state Democratic party endorsed her opponent in the primary.
Feinstein has been battling health issues and many from both sides of the aisle have called on her to resign. Feinstein announced in February that she was retiring at the end of her current term and would not run for reelection in 2024. She was 90 years old.