Eleanor Holmes Norton

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Norton, Eleanor Holmes,

1937–, African-American lawyer and government official. As an attorney (1965–70) for the American Civil Liberties UnionAmerican Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Founded (1920) by such prominent figures as Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Judah Magnus, and Norman Thomas, the ACLU grew
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, she specialized in First Amendment cases. She later headed New York City's Human Rights Commission (1970–77) and the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (1977–83), and taught at Georgetown Univ. Since 1991 Norton has been the District of Columbia's elected, nonvoting delegate to the U.S. Congress.
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Norton, Eleanor Holmes

(1937–  ) civil rights activist; born in Washington, D.C. A lawyer by profession, as assistant director of the American Civil Liberties Union (1965–70), she defended both Julian Bond's and George Wallace's freedom of speech rights. Chairman of the New York Human Rights Commission (1970–77), she championed women's rights and anti-block-busting legislation. She then went to Washington to chair the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (1977–83). In 1982 she became a law professor at Georgetown University.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.