Patsy Mink | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Patsy Mink

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This Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress when it comes to women's athletics. On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law the Title IX Amendment--the Equal Opportunity in Education Act--of the Higher Education Act.

The principal author of Title IX was Rep. Patsy Mink, a Democrat from Hawaii. Mink used her experiences facing gender inequalities in high school and college to help write Title IX. Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., helped push the amendment through.

Mink was a third generation Japanese-American and, in 1971, became the first minority woman elected to Congress. She served six consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and helped build coalitions to get Title IX passed.

Without Title IX there would be no WNBA today, and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team wouldn't have captivated our attention last summer in the Women's World Cup. Women now have many more sports opportunities in high schools and colleges thanks to Title IX.

Mink also introduced the Early Childhood Educational Act and the Women's Educational Equality Act during her time in Congress. All three laws are landmark congressional legislation advancing equal-education rights in America.

Mink died Sept. 28, 2002, at age 74 due to complications from chickenpox. On Oct. 29, 2002, 30 years after Congress passed Title IX, President George Bush renamed the Title IX Amendment to the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.

Updated June 21 to correct a typo.

Previous Comments


The article states that she was the "principle" author of Title IX. Does this mean that she was only responsible for portions of the amendment dealing with principles? I wonder who the principal author was. Sorry--I couldn't resist.


No, it was a typo, which I'll get fixed. Thanks for pointing it out, and for the dose of snark. ;-)


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