Press Releases

Remembering Congresswoman Cardiss Collins

Washington, DC, February 8, 2013

This past Sunday, former Congresswoman Cardiss Collins (D-Ill.) passed away in Arlington, Virginia at the age of 81.  Representative Collins was the first black congresswoman from Illinois and represented her Midwestern district for nearly 25 years.  During the 96th Congress she served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and in the 104th Congress she served as ranking member of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued this statement following the news of her passing:

“I am deeply saddened to learn that my friend and former colleague Cardiss Collins passed away this past Sunday.”

“Congresswoman Collins was a champion of racial and gender equality, as well as a staunch advocate for the underprivileged.  She was also a tireless advocate for women’s health care.  Because of her efforts, in 1975, the Social Security Administration revised Medicare regulations to cover the cost of post-mastectomy breast prosthesis.  In 1990, Rep. Collins shepherded legislation through Congress that expanded Medicare coverage for mammography screening for disabled and older women.  Congresswoman Collins was also the first member of the House of Representatives to introduce a resolution designating the month of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Cardiss Collins was a model legislator and an upstanding public servant.  She will be missed by many, but her legacy of social justice and committed activism will live on.”