Senator Dianne Feinstein has died. She was 90.
One of Feinstein’s family members confirmed her death to The New York Times on Friday, September 29. No further details about her cause of death have been further revealed.
Feinstein — who was elected to the Senate in 1992 and earned the distinction of the longest-serving female senator ever — had been battling multiple health issues before her death.
“Senator Feinstein briefly went to the hospital yesterday afternoon as a precaution after a minor fall in her home,” an official statement released in August read. “All of her scans were clear and she returned home.” Several months earlier, Feinstein took a nearly three-month leave to recover from shingles.
“I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery,” Feinstein said in a statement in March. Two months later, her office revealed that she had been suffering from serious shingles complications for some time.
“While the encephalitis [inflammation of the brain] resolved itself shortly after she was released from the hospital in March, she continues to have complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome [which causes temporary paralysis in part of the face],” a spokesperson stated in May.
Prior to her health woes, Feinstein announced in February that she would be retiring at the end of the year.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” she said at the time.
Feinstein made history in California politics, becoming the first female mayor of San Francisco, the first female elected Senator of California, and the longest-serving woman senator.
During her time in the Senate, Feinstein, a Democrat, fought hard for climate reform — particularly when it came to some of California’s most serious issues including wildfires and droughts. In 1994, she enacted the federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the creation and sale of military-style assault weapons for 10 years.
Feinstein was married three times: to Jack Berman from 1956 to 1959, to Bertram Feinstein from 1962 to his death in 1978 and to Richard Blum from 1980 to his death in February 2022. Blum, who passed away after a battle with cancer, was 86 years old.
“My husband was my partner and best friend for more than 40 years,” Dianne said in a statement after Blum’s death. “He was by my side for the good times and for the challenges. I am going to miss him terribly.”
Dianne is survived by her only child, daughter Katherine Feinstein, whom she shared with Berman, as well as her granddaughter, Eileen, whom Katherine shares with husband Rick Mariano.