Gabrielle Dee "Gabby" Giffords (born June 8, 1970) is an American politician. A Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, she has represented Arizona's 8th congressional district since 2007. She is the third woman in Arizona's history to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Giffords is currently serving her third term in the United States House of Representatives, having been re-elected in the 2010 midterm elections. Considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, her stances on health care reform and illegal immigration were sources of attention for those opposed to her candidacy and have made her a recipient of criticism from various conservative groups. She has described herself as a "former Republican."
Giffords is a native of Tucson, Arizona, and a graduate of Scripps College and Cornell University. Prior to her election to Congress, Giffords served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 until 2003 and the Arizona State Senate from 2003 until 2005, when she resigned to run for the seat held by then-Congressman Jim Kolbe. She also worked as an associate for regional economic development in New York City and as CEO of El Campo Tire Warehouses, a local automotive chain owned by her grandfather. She is married to astronaut and Space Shuttle Commander Mark E. Kelly.
On January 8, 2011, Giffords was a victim of a shooting near Tucson, which was reported to be an assassination attempt on her, at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. She was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head; thirteen people were injured and six others were killed in the shooting, among them conservative federal judge John Roll. Giffords was later brought to a rehabilitation facility in Houston, Texas, where she recovered some of her ability to walk, speak, read and write. On May 16, 2011, Giffords traveled to Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of STS-134, the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, which was commanded by her husband Mark Kelly.