Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Barbara Ann Mikulski (1936-)
MSA SC 3520-2094


Born in Baltimore on July 20, 1936.  Daughter of Christine and William Mikulski.  Attended Mount Saint Agnes College, B.A., 1958 and the University of Maryland School of Social Work, M.S.W., 1965. 

Worked in her parents grocery store in East Baltimore.  Member, Baltimore City Council, 1971-76.  Chair, Democratic Party Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure, 1973.  Adjunct professor, Department of Sociology, Loyola College.  Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1977-87.  Member, Energy and Commerce Committee, 1977-87; Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, 1977-87.

Member, U.S. Senate, 1987-2017.  First Democratic woman to hold a Senate seat not previously held by her husband; first Democratic woman to serve in both houses of Congress; and the first woman to win a statewide election in Maryland. Chair, Appropriations Committee, since December 20, 2012 (member, 1987; chair, commerce, justice, science, & related agencies subcommittee, 2007-17; member, defense subcommittee, 2005-17; state, foreign operations, & related programs subcommittee, 2005-17; interior, environment, & related agencies subcommittee, 2007-17; transportation, housing & urban development, & related agencies subcommittee, 2007-17; labor, health & human services, education, & related agencies subcommittee, 2011-17; foreign operations subcommittee, 1987, 2003-05; treasury & general government subcommittee, 1987-2002; transportation & related agencies subcommittee, 1989-2002; commerce, justice, state & the judiciary subcommittee, 1997-2005, senior democrat, 2005; chair, veterans affairs, department of housing & urban development, & independent agencies subcommittee, 2001-02; transportation, treasury & general government subcommittee, 2003-05; transportation, treasury, the judiciary, & housing & urban development subcommittee, 2005-06; homeland security subcommittee, 2005-10); Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (chair, children & families subcommittee, 2011-17; chair, aging subcommittee, 2001, member, 1993-2006; member, public health & safety subcommittee, 1997-2001; bioterrorism & public health preparedness subcommittee, 2006; member, employment & workplace safety subcommittee, 2007-11; chair, retirement security & aging subcommittee, 2007-08; chair, retirement & aging subcommittee, 2009-11); Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 2001-17 (task force on cyber security, 2010). Member, Ethics Study Commission, 1993-96. Secretary, Democratic Conference, 1995-2004.

Former adjunct professor, Department of Sociology, Loyola College. Chair, Democratic Party Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure, 1973. Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, 1974. Consultant, National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs. Delegate, International Women's Year Conference, 1980. Member, National Organization for Women and National Women's Political Caucus. Delegate, Democratic Party National Convention, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012. Co-Chair, Hillary Rodham Clinton National Presidential Campaign, 2007-16. Co-author, Capitol Offense (1996); Capitol Venture (1997). Honorary Board, Maryland Women's Heritage Center. Honorary degrees from Pratt Institute, New York, 1974; Hood College; Goucher College, 1991; and the Johns Hopkins University, 1995. Honorary law degrees from Bowie State University, 1989; Morgan State University, 1990; University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1991; University of Baltimore, 1992. Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, 1988. Lester Levy Humanitarian Award, Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, 1993. Charles Dick Medal of Merit, National Guard Association of the U.S., 1994. Named Most Trustworthy Politician, Baltimore Magazine, 1996. Baltimore's Extraordinary Technology Advocate Award, Greater Baltimore Committee, 1996. Baltimore Zionist District Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award, Baltimore Zionists, 1996. Certificate of Appreciation, National Board of Hadassah, 1996. Certificate of Appreciation, Federated Asian Pacific American Council, 1996. Maryland's Top 100 Women, Daily Record, 1997, 2000, 2007 (Circle of Excellence). Award of Excellence, Human Industry Manufacturers Association, 1998. Award of Appreciation, American Heart Association, 1999. Lifetime Achievement Award, Maryland Chapter, Arthritis Foundation, 1999. Bay Saving Excellence Award, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2000. Visionary for Women's Health Award, National Institutes of Health, 2000. Order of Merit, Republic of Poland, 2001 (Poland's most prestigious award to a civilian not a head of state). Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Award, Baltimore Urban League, 2002. Connie Mack Award for Lifetime Achievement, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 2003. Pioneer Award, Maryland Waterman's Association, 2003. Friend of the National Parks Award, National Parks Conservation Association, 2003. Warren E. Pearse Lifetime Achievement Award, Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, 2003. Unsung Hero Award, American Legion, 2004. Chesapeake Appreciation Award, Oyster Recovery Partnership, 2004. Public Service Award, Emergency Nurses Association, 2004. Outstanding Leadership Award, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2004. Community Service Award, Montgomery County Chapter, National Organization for Women, 2004. Public Service Award, Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief, 2005. Public Service Award, American College of Nurses-Midwives, 2005. Certificate of Excellence, National Breast Cancer Coalition, 2005. Commander's Award for Public Service, U.S. Department of the Army, 2005. Frederick L. Zimmerman Award, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 2005. National Leadership Award, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, 2005. Advocacy Award, Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, 2005. Humane Advocate Award, The Humane Society, 2005. Myra Hill Partnership in Care Award, Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council, 2006. Distinguished Public Service Award, Digestive Disease National Coalition, 2006. Friend of the Synagogue Award, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 2006. Coastal Steward Award, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2006. The Barbara A. Mikulski Baltimore Workforce Investment Award, Baltimore Mayor's Office of Employment Development, 2006. Top 100 Women, Washingtonian Magazine, 2006. Business Champion of the Year Award, Professional Landcare Network, 2006. Woodstock Leadership Program Award, Woodstock Job Corps Center, 2006. Award, American Jewish Committee, 2006. Award for continued support of access to legal aid for low-income Americans, Legal Services Corporation and American Bar Association, 2006. One of the Best Senators for Children, Children's Defense Fund Action Council, 2007. Honorary Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2007. Distinguished Community Health Superhero, National Association of Community Health Centers, 2007, 2009. Friend of Glen Echo Park Award, Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, 2008. Space Leadership Award, Federation of Galaxy Explorers, 2008. Fannie Lou Hamer Award, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Committee, 2009. National Education Service Award, American Association of Community Colleges & Association of Community College Trustees, 2009. Health Care Leadership Award, American Optometric Association, 2009. President's Award, American Podiatric Medical Association, 2009. Distinguished Leadership Award, Lupus Foundation of America, 2009. John V. Kabler Memorial Award, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, 2009. Lifetime Achievement Award, Fullwood Foundation, 2009. Inductee, National Women's Hall of Fame, 2011. Harriet Ross Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award, African-American Tourism Council of Maryland, 2012. Honored by U.S. Senate in March 2012 for being longest-serving woman in U.S. Congress. Morris H. Blum Humanitarian Award, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Committee, 2014. 50 Women to Watch, Baltimore Sun Magazine, 2014. Veterans Champion Award, Disabled American Veterans, 2015. Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2015.

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