- Born Hammond, Indiana, April 28; widowed; 2 children, 3 grandchildren.
- Graduate University of Wisconsin–Madison; postgraduate work University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
- Former teacher and marketing director.
- Member: North Shore Rotary; College Savings Program Board (EdVest); Junior League of Milwaukee (former president); Wisconsin Children’s Caucus (cofounder); Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council; NCSL Budgets and Revenue standing committee (vice chair); Fostering Futures Policy Advisory Council; NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation.
- Former member: Next Door Foundation; Public Policy Forum; Wisconsin Strategic Planning Council for Economic Development; Greater Milwaukee Committee; Goals for Greater Milwaukee 2000 Project (executive committee); United Way Board (chair, allocations committee); Tempo Professional Women’s Organization; Future Milwaukee (president); Milwaukee Forum; Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin (board of directors); American Red Cross of Wisconsin (executive committee, board of directors); League of Women Voters; Today’s Girls/Tomorrow’s Women, Boys & Girls Club (founder); NCSL Education Committee (chair); YMCA (board member).
- Recipient: Shining Star of Education Reform; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Government Advocates Award; Greater Milwaukee Committee Leadership Award; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Legislative Leadership Award; Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Working for Wisconsin; American Conservative Union Foundation Defender of Liberty Award; Friend of Grocers; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups Tommy G. Thompson Award for Service; RightWisconsin Iron Lady Award, Margaret Thatcher Award; Wisconsin Charter Champion Award; National MS Hall of Fame Inductee; American Cancer Society Legislative Champion; Fair Air Coalition Friend of Education; Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce Champion of Commerce; Wisconsin Head Start Directors Association Award of Excellence; National Association of Community Leadership Leadership Award; United Way Gwen Jackson Leadership Award; St. Francis Children’s Center Children Service Award.
- Elected to Assembly in May 1990 special election. Reelected November 1990. Elected to Senate since 1992.