Gabby Giffords is a Democrat and represented the 8th Congressional District of Arizona in the United States House of Representatives. Her term of office lasted from January 3, 2007, to January 25, 2012, and she holds the record for the third woman in the history of the state of Arizona to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
Before becoming a Congresswoman, Gabby was the General Manager of her grandfather’s auto chain business and regional economic development associate at Price Waterhouse in New York, a multinational professional services network. Gabby Giffords also served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 to 2003 and the Arizona State Senate from 2003 to 2005. Among the national issues that the former congressman is very concerned about our health care reform, illegal immigration, and personally, gun control. Her passion for the latter stems from her own experience of surviving an assassination attempt that eventually forced her to resign from her seat in Congress in 2012.
Who is Gabby Giffords? Here’s all you need to know
Gabrielle Dee Giffords was born on June 8, 1970, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She was born of a Christian mother, Gloria Kay Gifford, and a Jewish father, Spencer J. Giffords. The former Girl Scout attended University High School in Tucson and moved to California to study sociology at Scripps College. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American History in 1993 and then spent twelve months as a Fulbright Scholar in Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1996, she earned a master’s degree in regional planning at Cornell University with a focus on Mexican-American relations.
After working for Price Waterhouse and as President and CEO of her grandfather’s company, which culminated in 2000, she went into politics full-time. From 2001 to 2005, she served first as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and as a member of the Arizona State Senate.
After the start of her congressional campaign, Gabby Giffords finally won the race on November 7, 2006, and received 54 percent of the votes. Despite the strong Republican presence in the House of Representatives, she was re-elected in 2008 with 56.2 percent of the vote. During her term of office, Giffords voted in particular for increasing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and raising the minimum wage. She also introduced a bill to stop the sale of F-14 aircraft parts on the free market during the 2007 session of Congress.
Gabby Giffords assassination attempt. Who shot her?
The year 2011 began on a bitter note for Congressmen. While holding her first Congress on Your Corner event of the year near an Arizona Safeway grocery store, she was the victim of a mass shooting. A man with a 9mm pistol approached the crowd and began shooting. killing six people and injuring 19. One bullet hit Gabby Giffords in the head. She was quickly taken in critical condition to the University Medical Center of Tucson, where doctors had to perform emergency surgery on her.
Fortunately, the bullet had passed through her head without touching the centerline of her brain. The surgeons had to remove a small amount of necrotic tissue and a piece of her skull to prevent further pressure on the brain. Giffords might have died on the scene had it not been for her assistant doctor, Daniel Hernandez Jr., who immediately began providing first aid to her when she was injured. He’s credited with saving her life.
The congresswoman was put into an artificial coma to give her brain some rest. She recovered remarkably quickly when she began physical therapy in mid-January. She underwent a cranioplasty in May 2011 and was allowed to return home on June 15, 2011, for further treatment.
The shooter has arrested thanks to some onlookers until he was arrested and taken away by the police. He was identified as Jared Lee Loughner. The U.S. government considered this tragedy a federal crime, as it was a government event and federal employees were also assaulted. In order to avoid a death sentence, he was eventually indicted in over 50 federal trials, of which he was found guilty in 19 cases. In November 2012 he was sentenced to life plus 140 years in federal prison.
On January 24, 2012, Gabby Giffords attended President Obama’s State of the Union Address and officially submitted her resignation from Congress the next day. On that day, the last bill she sponsored and brought to the house was voted on and passed unanimously.
Who is Her Husband?
Gabby’s husband is Mark E. Kelly, a Captain in the U.S Navy and a NASA astronaut. Mark piloted the Space Shuttles on the STS-108 and STS-121 missions. He has also commanded other space missions.
On November 15, 2011, the couple co-authored a memoir titled Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope with author Jeffrey Zaslow. Mark and Gabby got married on November 10, 2007. Mark came into the relationship with two daughters, Claudia and Claire. They were never really close to their stepmother Gabby, however, everything changed dramatically for the better following the shooting as the girls finally bonded with her.