Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun (born August 16, 1947) is an American feminist politician and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999. She was the first and to date only African-American woman elected to the United States Senate, the first woman to defeat an incumbent senator in an election, and the first and to date only female Senator from Illinois. From 1999 until 2001, she was the United States Ambassador to New Zealand. She was a candidate for the Democratic nomination during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. In November 2010, Braun began her campaign for Mayor of Chicago following the retirement of Richard M. Daley.
Carol Elizabeth Moseley was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended public and parochial schools. She attended Ruggles School for elementary school, and she attended Parker High School (now the site of Paul Robeson High School) in Chicago. Her father, Joseph Moseley, was a Chicago police officer and jail guard and her mother, Edna, was a medical technician in a hospital. Both her parents were Catholic. The family lived in a segregated middle class neighborhood in the South Side of Chicago. Her parents divorced when she was in her teens, and she lived with her grandmother. She began her college studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, but dropped out after four months. She then majored in political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1972.
As an attorney, Moseley Braun was a prosecutor in the United States Attorney's office in Chicago from 1973 to 1977. An Assistant United States Attorney, she worked primarily in the civil and appellate law areas. Her work in housing, health policy, and environmental law won her the Attorney General's Special Achievement Award.