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The Honorable Eva M. Clayton

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Information about The Honorable Eva M. Clayton

Profile image of The Honorable Eva M. Clayton

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Corn, Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Fried Chicken, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains, Beaches
Favorite Quote:
That Too Shall Come To Pass. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Birthplace

Born:
9/16/1934
Birth Location:
Savannah, Georgia

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Corn, Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Fried Chicken, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mountains, Beaches
Favorite Quote:
That Too Shall Come To Pass. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Birthplace

Born:
9/16/1934
Birth Location:
Savannah
See how The Honorable Eva M. Clayton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

U.S. congresswoman Eva M. Clayton was born in Savannah, Georgia on September 16, 1934. In 1955, Clayton received her B.S. degree in biology from Johnson C. Smith University. She then obtained her M.S. degree in biology and general science from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina in 1962. With the encouragement of civil rights activist and attorney Vernon Jordan, Clayton sought election to Congress in a north-central North Carolina district. Despite a losing bid, Clayton’s initial run generated black voter registration. In the early 1970s, she worked for several public and private ventures, including the North Carolina Health Manpower Development Program at the University of North Carolina. In 1974, she cofounded and served as the executive director of Soul City Foundation, a housing organization that renovated dilapidated buildings for use as homeless shelters and daycare centers. Clayton worked on the successful gubernatorial campaign of Jim Hunt, who later appointed Clayton the assistant secretary of the North Carolina department of natural resources and community development. Clayton served in that capacity from 1977 until 1981. In 1982 she won election to the Warren County Board of Commissioners, which she chaired until 1990.

When Representative Walter Jones, Sr. announced his retirement in 1992, Clayton entered the Democratic primary to fill his seat. She eventually won the special election to fill the last two months of Jones’s unexpired term in the 102nd Congress (1991–1993) and defeated Republican Ted Tyler for a full term in the 103rd Congress (1993–1995). Clayton became the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress in North Carolina. In her subsequent four bids for re-election, she won comfortably, with 60 percent or more of the vote. Clayton served with distinction for ten years as the U.S. Representative of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. While in Congress, she served on Agriculture and Budget Committees and as ranking member of the Agriculture Department’s Operations Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittees. Clayton is the past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2003, her name was put forth as a possible Democratic vice-presidential candidate. Clayton completed a three year-assignment with the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy in 2006 as Assistant Director-General and Special Adviser to the Director-General. In this post, Clayton helped to establish national alliances and partnerships in over 24 countries to fight hunger and poverty including the United States of America. She currently serves as the chairperson of Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW (PCPAN), a project of the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition, which fights on behalf of patients to preserve access to quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services.

Clayton is the mother of four adult children, Joanne, Theaoseus, Jr., Martin and Reuben. She is married to Attorney Theaoseus T. Clayton, Sr. and they are proud grandparents of six grandchildren.

Eva M. Clayton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

See how The Honorable Eva M. Clayton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Eva M. Clayton's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her parents' community involvement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls public school, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Steed Street School in Augusta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her role models
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influential teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls matriculating at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers meeting her husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influences at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her early awareness of politics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her introduction to civil rights activism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her work with the American Friends Service Committee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her graduation from Johnson C. Smith University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers James Brown
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers moving to Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the political leadership in Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the importance of black institutions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls moving to Warrenton, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. remembers becoming a community organizer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls attending the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls her first campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. describes her economic development work in North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about Soul City, North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Watergate scandal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her role at the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her commissionership of Warren County, North Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her decision to run for the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her first term in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the Republican Revolution of 1994
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the U.S. Congress under President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her leadership in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the class action lawsuit of Pigford v. Glickman
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the solidarity among black women in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the impact of Hurricane Floyd
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her decision not to seek reelection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her service at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls projects from her terms in Congress
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the Eva M. Clayton Fellows Program Act
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her children
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes how she would like to be remembered