Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein, born Dianne Emiel Goldman, is the senior United States Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University in 1955 with a B.A. in history. In the 1960s she worked in city government, and in 1970 she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk drew national attention to the city. Feinstein succeeded Moscone as mayor. During her tenure as San Francisco's first female mayor she led a revamp of the city's cable car system and oversaw the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
After a failed gubernatorial campaign in 1990, she won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. Feinstein was first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, and the two became California's first female U.S. Senators. Feinstein has been re-elected four times since then and in the 2012 election, she claimed the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 7.75 million votes.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013 she introduced a new assault weapons bill, which failed to pass. Feinstein formerly chaired the Senate Rules Committee (2007–09) and has chaired the Select Committee on Intelligence since 2009. She is the only woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration.
At the age of 81, Feinstein is the oldest currently serving United States Senator.