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Ella Tambussi Grasso Ella Tambussi Grasso was born in Windsor Locks Connecticut on May 10 1919 She was a daughter of two Italian immigrants She lived in Windsor Locks her entire life She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with honors in 1940 and earned her MA and BA degrees During World War II she served as assistant director of research for the Connecticut office of the War Manpower Commission Ella Grasso became active in the Windsor Locks Democratic Town Committee In 1952 and 1954 she was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly She served on the Democratic National Committee in 1956-1958 In 1958 she was elected Connecticuts Secretary of the State She held this position for three terms She was elected to the US Congress in 1970 and again in 1972 In 1974 Ella Grasso campaigned successfully for the Democratic nomination for governor She won a vital victory in the November election Ella Grasso was the first woman to serve as governor of Connecticut and not only that but was the first woman in American history to hold a state governorship only on her own individuality All previous women governors had been wives of former governors In September 1978 Governor Grasso fought off a most important challenge by her former lieutenant governor and was nominated for a second term She was reelected by a large majority in November and began a second four-year term Due to illness Ella Grasso resigned on New Years Eve of 1980 She eventually passed away on February 5 1981 Ella Grasso was a popular politician who never forgot her hometown and its people In 28 years she never lost an election She overcame religious prejudice and sexism to succeed in public service Ella Tambussi Grasso has affected the whole state of Connecticut and me because she was a champion for those who needed help including minorities women young people working people and senior citizens She
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