Pat Schroeder was a longtime member of the United States House of Representatives from Colorado. She was elected from the state's Denver-based 1st District. Schroeder was a member of the Democratic Party.

Schroeder eventually became the chairwoman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. Considered to be a relative moderate on policy stances, she would be seen as a pioneer for women in Congress.

Passed away on March 13, 2023

Pat Schroeder has died. She was 82. CBS reports that she had suffered a stroke. She and her husband had been residing in Celebration, Florida in the Orlando region.

That was apparently where she was at the time of her passing.

Schroeder was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972. She defeated Republican incumbent Mike McKevitt in what was considered to be an upset. In following years, she would be re-elected 11 times.

She would be the first woman to be named to the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services. Though both were Democrats, Schroeder was known to clash with House Speaker Carl Albert. Among her legislative achievements was the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Of which she was a key figure behind.

Onlookers would take notice of Schroeder's open balancing of her professional and personal lives. She was a mother of two young children at the start of her Congressional career.

She often had diapers in her bag on the House floor and crayons were kept on a table in her office. Also reputed for a quick wit, she remarked "I have a brain and a uterus, and they both work."

Schroeder was the chairwoman of Colorado U.S. Senator Gary Hart's Presidential campaign during the 1988 Democratic primary cycle. After Hart withdrew from the race, Schroeder briefly sought the nomination herself.

But she would choose to drop out of the race. At the ensuing press conference where she announced her decision, Schroeder became openly emotional. In some cases, that would remain what they most remembered about Pat Schroeder, even decades later. In many cases, she was criticized for her, which greatly displeased her. "Guys have been tearing up all along and people think it's marvelous," Schroeder said.

Explaining her view that the criticism of her was an example of a double standard.

Schroeder did not run for re-election in 1996. Democrat Diana DeGette was elected to her seat that year. DeGette was the minority whip of the Colorado House of Representatives.

Was a licensed pilot

With the maiden name of Scott, Pat Schroeder was a native of Portland, Oregon. Her great-grandfather had served in the Nebraska Legislature. He was a colleague of future U.S. Secretary of State and Presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan. Pat later graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Axios notes that her early career ambition was to be an aerodynamic engineer. Even earning a pilot's license as a teenager.

Pat later received a degree in history from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She followed that up with a degree from Harvard Law School. Her early career included working for the National Labor Relations Board.

One of Pat's Harvard classmates was James Schroeder, who she would marry in 1962. James would also be politically active. At one point, he was narrowly defeated for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives.