Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (/ˈfaɪnstaɪn/ FYNE-styne; born Dianne Emiel Goldman; June 22, 1933) is an American politician who has served as the senior United States Senator from California since 1992. A member of the Democratic Party, Feinstein was Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. In the 1960s, she worked in city government, and she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969. She served as the board’s first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk by Dan White drew national attention. Feinstein succeeded Moscone as Mayor of San Francisco and became the first woman to serve in that position. During her tenure, she led the renovation of the city’s cable car system, and oversaw the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
After losing a race for governor in 1990, Feinstein won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. Feinstein was first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, and the two women became California’s first female U.S. Senators. Feinstein has been re-elected five times since then, and in the 2012 election, she received 7.75 million votes—the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013, she introduced a new assault weapons bill which failed to pass. Feinstein is the first and only woman to have chaired the Senate Rules Committee (2007–2009) and the Select Committee on Intelligence (2009–2015), and is also the only woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration. At the age of 87, Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator. Upon the retirement of Barbara Mikulski in January 2017, Feinstein became the longest-tenured female U.S. Senator currently serving. Having won reelection in 2018 to a six-year term expiring in January 2025, Feinstein will become the longest-serving U.S. Senator from California and longest-serving female U.S. Senator in history on November 5, 2022 should she serve her full term.