Maxine Waters has worked in Congress since 1991 and is currently the U.S. Representative for the 43rd California Congressional District. She is currently considered one of the most powerful women in US politics. She also previously held the position of Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is currently a member.
Maxine is the oldest of the 12 black women in the U.S. Congress, and over the years she has always fought to maintain the mandate given to her. Appealing to leaders and fighting against policies she does not believe to be right was one of Maxine’s ways of holding power accountable. We take a look at her biography and other facts.
Maxine Waters’ Biography
Maxine Waters was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 15, 1938, the daughter of her parents, Remus and Velma Lee Carr Moore. She was born as the fifth child of their thirteen children. When she was two years old, her father left the family, and Maxine was raised by her mother alone.
Her full name at the time of her birth was Maxine Moore Carr. She attended Vashon High School in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated before her family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1961. She worked first in a garment factory and then as a telephone operator. In 1966 she was hired as an assistant for the Head Start program in Watts. Maxine later decided to enroll at California State University, where she eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Maxine Waters has been active in and around the political arena of the United States for over forty years and continues to grow in strength. It all began when she took office in 1973 as senior councilman David S. Cunningham Jr. During her time there, she worked on the spin-off of state pension funds from companies in South Africa that operated under apartheid. Later, Maxine assumed the position of Chair of the Democratic Committee of the Assembly.
In 1990, when Augustus F. Hawkins retired and received over 79% of the vote, Waters was elected to the United States House of Representatives for the 29th California Congressional District. Re-elections have occurred repeatedly for Waters, even when the district was renumbered 35th in 1992 and 43rd in 2012 and won its seat with at least 70 percent of the vote.
Maxine entered the political arena in the state of California in 1973. She was elected to Congress for the first time in 1990. From 2017 she will earn an annual salary of $170,000. She has estimated net assets in the order of $5 million.
Maxine was married twice in her life. The first time she was married to Edward Waters in 1956, a while after she finished high school. The union with Edward was blessed with two children, a boy, and a girl, Edward and Karen Waters. They spent over fifteen years together as a couple but were divorced in 1972.
In the years following her divorce, Waters was quiet about relationships, but she soon met Sid Williams. Williams is a former NFL linebacker who played for teams such as the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns, the Washington Redskins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was also once the US ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
In 2017 there was a rumor that Maxine wanted to divorce Sid for embezzlement, but when confronted with the question, Williams denied the allegations. The couple has remained married but has no children together.
Other Facts About Maxine Waters
- All twelve siblings were raised by their single mother, Velma Lee Carr Moore.
- Around the time Maxine was 13 years old, she was working as a bus girl in a white-only restaurant in downtown St. Louis.
- She began working for Head Start in Watts, and after helping her parents get more federal funding, this inspired her to get into politics.
- Waters has denied the charges against her for undue intervention on behalf of OneUnited Bank. A bank in which her husband Sid Williams is a shareholder. She allegedly approached officials at the Ministry of Finance to support the troubled bank for personal gain.
- Waters has conducted public searches of presidents over the years, including Republican presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, and even Democratic president Barack Obama.