Anna Sheffer
Updated Mar 16, 2018 @ 10:52 am
Louise Slaughter passed away at the age of 88
Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Today, March 16th, Representative Louise Slaughter passed away at the age of 88. The New York Democrat was one of the most incredible women in Congress, and her passing was a huge loss. Here’s what you need to know about this legendary politician.

1 Slaughter’s net worth was impressive.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Slaughter’s net worth in 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available) was between $1.37 million and $2.94 million. This put her as the ninth wealthiest New York Representative.

2 She was one of the longest-serving members of Congress.

The Democrat was elected to the House in 1986, and she went on to serve 16 Congressional terms. The 88-year-old was also the oldest member of Congress at the time of her death.

3 She fought hard for women’s rights.

Slaughter, helped found the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, a group within Congress dedicated to fighting for women’s reproductive rights. She also co-authored the Violence Against Women Act, which was the first law against domestic violence and sexual assault.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi praised Slaughter for her dedication to women’s rights.

4 Her background was in microbiology.

The representative held a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in public health. Slaughter was the only microbiologist in Congress, and her background often influenced her work. As a result of her graduate research on antibiotic-resistant drugs, she advocated for legislation banning the use of antibiotics on factory farms. She also pioneered a bill that prevented discrimination based on a person’s genetics.

5 She endured plenty of sexism in her time.

When Slaughter first ran for a seat in her local county legislature, she was listed on local ballots as “Louis Slaughter,” and many people asked her who would care for her children while she worked away from home in the county seat.

“I assured everybody,” Slaughter told HuffPost, “that they could stay with their father.”

Even though in 2018 more women are running for Congress than ever before, this wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of politicians like Slaughter. We will be recognizing her incredible work for decades to come. Our hearts go out to her loved ones at this difficult time.