Bella (Savitsky) Abzug

Bella (Savitsky) Abzug (1920 - 1998)

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Bella Abzug formerly Savitsky
Born in New York City, New York, New Yorkmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in New York City, New York, New Yorkmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Nov 2016 | Last significant change: 30 Dec 2018
11:12: EditBot WikiTree edited the Biography for Bella (Savitsky) Abzug (1920-1998). (Renaming category: United States National Women's Hall of Fame) [Thank EditBot for this]
This page has been accessed 190 times.

Categories: Lawyers | US Representatives from New York | National Women's Hall of Fame (United States).


Bella Savitzky was born in 1920 in New York City, New York. She was the daughter of Emanuel Savitsky and Esther Tanklefsky, both Russian Jewish immigrants.[1][2][3]

Bella attended Walton High School in New York City and was the class president. After high school, she went to Hunter College of the City University of New York. [3] She was a political science major, and was also elected president of the student council. Bella married Martin Abzug, the son and partner of an affluent shirt manufacturer, on June 4, 1944. She met Martin while visiting relatives in Miami, Florida after her graduation from Hunter College.[4]

Bella earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1947, and was admitted to the New York Bar that same year. As a lawyer, she focused on labor law and also took on civil rights cases in the Southern United States. She was also a co-founder of Women's Strike for Peace, a women's peace activist group.[3]

Bella was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and was in office from January 3, 1971- January 3, 1977. She was one of the first members of Congress to support gay rights and introduced, along with Ed Koch, the Equality Act of 1974, the first federal gay rights bill. She ran for Mayor of New York City in 1977, but did not receive the nomination.[3]

After leaving the House, Bella founded and ran several women's advocacy organizations. She co-founded the Women's Environment and Development Organization in the early 1990s. She also developed the Women's Caucus.[3]

Bella died on March 31, 1998 in New York City due to complications from open heart surgery.[3] She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1994.[5]


  1. United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 November 2016), Bella Savitzky in household of Emanuel Savitzky, Bronx (Districts 251-500), Bronx, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 403, sheet 8A, line 10, family 132, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1476; FHL microfilm 2,341,211.
  2. United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 November 2016), Bella Savitzsky in household of Esther Savitzsky, Assembly District 8, Bronx, New York City, Bronx, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-1313, sheet 6B, line 47, family 127, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2493.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5

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Images: 1
Bella Savitsky Abzug
Bella Savitsky Abzug


On 22 Nov 2018 at 20:31 GMT Gil Davis wrote:

please add Category: Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, New York

On 14 Sep 2017 at 21:24 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

ended up being executed. She still refused to give up. She spent 47 years proving that she had just begun to fight by becoming a member of congress, feminist and a person who refused to walk away, despite knowing she probably should. She is quoted as saying "Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over."

Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my son, pgs 42-43, Harper Collins Publishing

On 14 Sep 2017 at 21:20 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

She purposely refused to learn to type in school. She felt that way no one would be able to look at her as a secretary. As a lawyer, she got a client she knew was innocent. Because he was a black man arrested for rape against a white woman, they were making sure he got prosecuted for it. She continued to fight to try to over turn the conviction. Most would have given up but she would not. She went through all appeals and despite being pregnant, she went to Jackson Mississippi to continue the fight as long as possible. She had to spend the night in a bathroom stall to avoid the KKK and no hotels would let her have a room because of who she was defending. She miscarried her baby and he still ...

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