Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.


Across Party Lines

Across Party Lines

More From Kay

In this video

Hutchison reflects on her early years in the U.S. Senate when politics was less partisan and there was camaraderie across the aisle.

Kay's Biography

First Paying Job: Counselor at Camp Longhorn.
Founding Father:  Her great great great grandfather signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Favorite Piece of Advice: From Ann Armstrong, former RNC Chair: "‘Know when to fight and know when to switch’…sometimes you're going to lose and you just have to know when the time is to say, ‘We'll live to fight another day.’”
Cause of Choice: TAMEST

Kay Bailey Hutchison is the first female United States Senator from the state of Texas. She has also served in the Texas State Legislature and as the state’s Treasurer.
Hutchison was raised in La Marque, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas Austin in 1962. In 1967, she was one of five women to graduate from UT-Austin Law School out of a class of five hundred people. “It was when I got out of law school that I hit my first brick wall,” she says. “Law firms in Texas didn't hire women.” Instead, Hutchison found a job a news correspondent for KPRC-TV in Houston, becoming the first female reporter in the Houston market.
She burst onto the political scene in 1972, when she became the first Republican woman to be elected to the Texas House of Representatives. In 1976, President Gerald Ford appointed her to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Despite these successes, Hutchison left politics for over a decade following her lopsided loss in a Congressional primary in 1978. Shortly afterwards, she was named Senior Vice President and General Counsel for RepublicBank Corporation. Over the next decade, she would go on to found Fidelity Bank of Dallas and then to purchase McCraw Candies Incorporated.
Hutchison returned to public service in 1990 and quickly resumed her path-breaking ways, becoming the first Texan woman to win statewide office when she was elected State Treasurer. She was elected to the US Senate in 1993 in a special election to replace Lloyd Bentsen, who had been named as Treasury Secretary by President Bill Clinton. She has served continuously since then.
Hutchison ran in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election but lost in the primary to fellow Republican Rick Perry. She has announced that she will retire from politics in 2012.

Related Videos

Li Yinhe
Li Yinhe
China's First Female Sexologist

Li Yinhe is a sociologist, sexologist and LGBT rights activist from Beijing, China. Dubbed “China’s first sexologist,” Li is a pioneer for women and gender studie...

Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg
Iconic Fashion Designer

Diane Halfin, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, was just out of school and already working when she married into the House of Furstenberg in 1969. Not content to idle as Prince...

Katherine G. Johnson
Katherine G. Johnson
NASA Mathematician

Katherine G. Johnson is a pioneer in American space history. A NASA mathematician, Johnson's computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shu...

Heather Fleming
Heather Fleming
Designer & Engineer

Heather Fleming is the Founder and CEO of Catapult Design, a non-profit design firm that develops and delivers technology and service solutions to low-income and underserved commun...