Maxine Waters Biography

(U.S. Representative)
Maxine Waters

Birthday: August 15, 1938 (Leo)

Born In: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Maxine Waters is an American congresswoman who has been serving as the U.S. representative of California's 43rd congressional district since 1991. Regarded as one of the most influential women in politics, Waters has also been a champion of the rights of women, children, people of color, the underprivileged, and various segregated communities. She decided to join politics while working with the 'Head Start' program. Before becoming a congresswoman, Waters was associated with a movement to end apartheid in South Africa and make it a democratic nation. She was then elected to the ‘U.S. House of Representatives.’ Waters has represented a large portion of South Los Angeles; the communities of Westchester, Playa Del Rey, and Watts; and the independent areas of Los Angeles County. She is the first woman and the first African–American to chair the 'House Financial Services Committee.' Waters is also part of the 'Congressional Democratic Leadership,' the 'Steering & Policy Committee,' the bipartisan 'Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease,' and the 'Congressional Progressive Caucus.' She has formerly chaired the 'Congressional Black Caucus.' In her career spanning over 4 decades, Waters has undertaken various crucial and controversial issues. She has been a prominent advocate of cross-border peace, justice, and human rights.

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Quick Facts

Also Known As: Maxine Moore Waters, Maxine Moore Carr

Age: 84 Years, 84 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Sid Williams (m. 1977), Edward Waters (m. 1956 - div. 1972)

father: Remus Moore

mother: Velma Lee Carr Moore

children: Edward Waters, Karen Waters

Born Country: United States

Black Leaders Political Leaders

U.S. State: Missouri, African-American From Missouri

City: St. Louis, Missouri

More Facts

education: California State University, Los Angeles

Childhood & Early Life

Maxine Waters was born Maxine Moore Carr, on August 15, 1938, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., to Remus Carr Moore and Velma Lee Carr Moore. Walters was the fifth of the 13 children in the family. Her mother raised the siblings singlehandedly, as their father left the family when Waters was 2 years old.

At age 13, she earned a job as a busgirl in a segregated restaurant in downtown St. Louis.

Waters and her family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1961, after she graduated from the 'Vashon High School' in St. Louis. In Los Angeles, she earned a job at a garment factory and later worked as an operator for 'Pacific Telephone.'

In 1966, she began working as an assistant teacher for a school in Watts, under the 'Head Start' program that provides education and overall development to children from low-income families. While working for the program, Waters attended the 'California State University' and graduated with a sociology degree in 1971.

Working with 'Head Start,' Maxine Waters was exposed to the issues concerning parents' rights. She thus decided to join politics.

She also assisted the frustrated 'Head Start' parents to make federal-budget requests and to contact legislators and agencies for increase funding.

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In 1973, Waters worked as the chief deputy to ‘City Council’ member David S. Cunningham, Jr. In 1976, she was elected to the ‘California State Assembly.’ She served the assembly for the next 14 years.

While at the ‘State Assembly,’ Maxine Waters brought in many bold legislations related to minorities, women, and tenants' rights. He also prohibited the strip searches made the by the police in cases involving non-violent misdemeanors. However, the most notable changes were the decisions of divestment of state pension funds from businesses in South Africa, the U.S.A.'s first 'Child Abuse Prevention Training Program,' and the first plant-closure law.

Waters was appointed as the ‘Democratic Caucus’ chair of the assembly. She joined the 'Democratic National Committee' (DNC) in 1980 and led five presidential campaigns for Senator Edward Kennedy (1980), Rev. Jesse Jackson (1984 and 1988), and President Bill Clinton (1992 and 1996).

In the mid-1980s, Waters established the 'Project Build' in Los Angeles, which worked with young people (in housing developments) for on-the-job training and placement. She also co-founded the non-profit organization called the 'Black Women's Forum' in the Los Angeles area.

In 1990, she was elected to the ‘House of Representatives’ from California's 29th congressional district. Waters continued to speak for the rights of minorities, women, and the underprivileged communities. She was elected from the 35th district (representing South Central Los Angeles, Inglewood, Gardena, and Hawthorne) in 1992 and the 43rd district in 2012.

One of her primary areas of interest as a representative was the alleged involvement of the ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) in ‘Contra’-cocaine trafficking in South Central Los Angeles from the mid-1980s. Waters was credited for procuring funds for the job and life-skills training program called 'Youth Fair Chance.' She canceled the debts that Africa and other developing regions/nations owed to wealthy institutions such as the ‘World Bank.’ She also established a center for women veterans.

As the chairperson of the 'Congressional Black Caucus' (1997 to 1998), Maxine Waters made efforts to make health-care services accessible to all. She helped in the development of the 'Minority AIDS Initiative' in 1998 and brought about several laws for better health-care services, especially for patients of diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Waters also chaired the 'Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity' and signed the 'Neighborhood Stabilization Program.' She played a crucial role in establishing the ‘DNC's 'National Development and Voting Rights Institute' in 2001. She appointed Mayor Maynard Jackson to chair the institute.

In June 2005, Waters started the 'Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus’ to make the ‘Congress’ aware of the dispute regarding the U.S. participation in the war in Iraq. The prime motive of the establishment was to get the U.S. service members back to their families as soon as possible. Waters has previously chaired the ‘Caucus.’

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In 2012, Water succeeded Barney Frank (D-MA) as the 'House Financial Services Committee' ranking member.


In July 1994, Waters and Peter King (R-NY) had an argument over the Whitewater controversy during a 'House Banking Committee.' The following day, she repeatedly interrupted the king's speech, a behavior that led the supervising officer, Carrie Meek (D-FL), to warn her with the “Mace of the House of Representatives,” a formal warning to desist. Waters was suspended from the ‘House’ for the day.

In 2005, Maxine Waters testified at the 'House Committee on Education and the Workforce' for the case on the “Enforcement of Federal Anti-Fraud Laws in For-Profit Education.”

In 2006, her criticism of the media coverage of the 'King-Drew Medical Center' and her suggestion to the 'Federal Communications Commission' (FCC) to decline a waiver of the cross-ownership ban stirred controversy.

The 'Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington' has enlisted Waters as a corrupt member of the ‘Congress’ in 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2011. One of the listings was for using her political influence of being the 'House Financial Services Committee' member to help arrange federal cash for the 'OneUnited Bank' and concealing the fact that her husband owned stock in the bank.

In June 2009, the 'Citizens Against Government Waste' named her the "Porker of the Month" for attempting to procure an earmark for the 'Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.'

In 2009, Waters and fellow ‘Democratic’ congressman Dave Obey (WI) disputed over an earmark in the 'House Committee on Appropriations.'

In 2018, the 'Republican Jewish Coalition' asked Waters to resign because of her connections with the 'Nation of Islam' leader Louis Farrakhan.

Family & Personal Life

Waters is married to Sidney Williams, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. They have two children, Edward and Karen. She was married to Edward Waters from 1956 until their divorce in 1972.

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, her sister Velma Moody died due to the virus.

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