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U. S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe

Olympia Snowe

Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican, is known nationally for her work on women's issues, budget deficit reduction, student financial aid, education technology, health care, and defense issues. Senator Snowe is the first Greek-American woman elected to the United States Senate.

Senator Snowe has won more federal elections in Maine than any candidate since World War II. Before her election to the Senate, Senator Snowe represented Maine's Second Congressional District for eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. When she was elected to Congress in 1978 at the age of 31, Snowe was the youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman, ever elected to Congress.

As a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Snowe earned widespread respect for her leadership as cochair of the. Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. Senator Snowe was also a member of the House Budget Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and was a leading member of the former House Select Committee on Aging, where she served as Ranking Republican on its Subcommittee on Human Services.

As of the time of her induction, during the 106th Congress, Senator Snowe is serving her fifth year in the U.S. Senate. She is a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, where she chairs the Subcommittee on Seapower; and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, where she chairs the Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries. Senator Snowe also serves on the Senate Budget Committee, and the Senate Committee on Small Business.

Before her election to Congress, Ms. Snowe served in both the Maine House of Representatives and the Maine Senate. She was first elected to the Maine House in 1973 to the seat vacated by the death of her first husband, the late Peter Snowe. She was re-elected for a full two-year term in 1974.

In 1976, Ms. Snowe was elected to the Maine Senate. She chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Institutional Services, where she gained particular recognition for her work on health care issues and for sponsorship of legislation in the health field.

Formerly Olympia Jean Bouchles, Senator Snowe was born on February 21, 1947, in Augusta, Maine. She is the daughter of the late George Bouchles, a native of Mytilene, Greece, and the late Georgia Goranites Bouchles, whose parents emigrated to America from Sparta.

Raised by her aunt and uncle Mary and the late James Goranites of Auburn after the death of her parents, Ms. Snowe graduated from St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, New York in 1962, and completed her secondary education at Edward Little High School in Auburn. She graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Maine at Orono in 1969.

Senator Snowe is married to former Maine Governor John R. McKernan Jr. and resides in Falmouth, Maine.

Ms. Snowe is a member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Lewiston-Aubum, Maine, and has been an active member in a number of civic and community organizations.

1996 Photograph

Inducted March, 1999