Nancy Landon Kassebaum
|Nancy Landon Kassebaum|
|United States Senator
December 23, 1978 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||James B. Pearson|
|Succeeded by||Pat Roberts|
July 29, 1932
|Spouse(s)||Philip Kassebaum (divorce, 1956–1979)
Howard Baker (1996-present)
|Alma mater||University of Kansas
University of Michigan
Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker (born July 29, 1932) represented the State of Kansas in the United States Senate from 1978 to 1997. She is the daughter of Alf Landon, who was Governor of Kansas from 1933 to 1937 and the 1936 Republican nominee for president. She was the first woman ever elected to a full term in the Senate without her husband having previously served in Congress.
Early life 
Baker was born Nancy Landon in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Theo (née Cobb) and Governor Alf Landon. She attended Topeka High School and graduated in 1950. She graduated from the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1954, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. In 1956 she received a master's degree in diplomatic history from the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, Philip Kassebaum, whom she married in 1956. They settled in Maize, Kansas, where they raised four children. They separated in 1975, and divorced in 1979.
U.S. Senate 
Baker went by Nancy Landon Kassebaum while serving in the Senate. She was the first female senator not elected to the political office held by her husband (Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was first elected to the House of Representatives to fill her husband's vacancy, but later won a Senate election), nor appointed to fill out a deceased husband's term. She was also the first woman to represent Kansas in the Senate.
She defeated eight other Republicans in the 1978 primary elections to replace retiring Republican James B. Pearson and then defeated former Democratic Congressman Bill Roy (who narrowly lost a previous election bid to Kansas's junior senator, Bob Dole, in 1974) in the general election. She was re-elected to her Senate seat in 1984 and 1990, but did not seek re-election in 1996.
Baker is a moderate-to-liberal Republican who is known for her health care legislation, known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was co-sponsored by Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat.
Personal life 
She is an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy.
See also 
- Of the female Senators who preceded Kassebaum: Rebecca Latimer Felton (D-GA), Rose McConnell Long (D-LA), Dixie Bibb Graves (D-AL), Vera C. Bushfield (R-SD), Eva Kelly Bowring (R-NE), Elaine S. Edwards (D-LA), Muriel Humphrey (D-MN), Maryon Pittman Allen (D-AL) were all appointed and were never elected; Gladys Pyle (R-SD) and Hazel Abel (R-NE), were elected, but not to full terms (i.e., to complete terms where the previous senator had died or resigned, not to new six-year terms); Hattie Caraway (D-AR) and Maurine Brown Neuberger (D-OR) were both elected to full six-year terms, but their husbands had held the seat previously. Margaret Chase Smith's (R-ME) husband never served in the Senate, but he did serve in the House. When he died, Margaret won the ensuing election. Of the appointed senators, Long, Bushfield, Humphrey, and Allen were all appointed to fill out part of the terms of their deceased husbands, while Graves and Edwards were appointed by their husbands, the Governor of their states at the time. However, Kassebaum's father means that the first woman to be elected without any family connections was Paula Hawkins (R-FL), elected in 1980.
- women in congress: Nancy Landon Kassebaum
- Kassebaum, Nancy Landon. To Form a More Perfect Union Presidential Studies Quarterly 18 (Spring 1988): 241-49.
- Marshall-White, Eleanor (1991). Catalysts for Change: Interpretive Biographies of Shirley St. Hill Chisholm, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Nancy Landon Kassebaum, Vantage Press, ISBN 0-533-09130-6
|United States Senate|
James B. Pearson
|United States Senator (Class 2) from Kansas
Served alongside: Bob Dole, Sheila Frahm, Sam Brownback
|Chairman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee