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Florence Prag Kahn

Florence Prag Kahn made history as the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, first filling her husband’s seat and then in her own right, with Alice Roosevelt Longworth commenting that she was “the equal of any man in Congress, and the superior of most.” Khan served as her husband’s secretary while he was in office and also wrote a regular column for the San Francisco Chronicle, keeping abreast of political issues. After her husband’s death, Khan ran for his seat in a special election and was reelected five times, serving from 1925–1937. A Republican Party loyalist and social conservative, Khan continued her husband’s policies for military preparedness, creating several airfields and Air Force bases and was the first woman to serve on the Military Affairs Committee. She opposed Prohibition and movie censorship and while she opposed women’s suffrage before California adopted it in 1911, after retiring from office she worked to increase women’s involvement in politics.

Florence Prag Kahn
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Florence Prag Kahn (1866–1948) was the first Jewish woman and only the fifth woman to serve in Congress. She was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-California).

Date of Birth
November 9, 1866
Place of Birth
Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of Death
November 16, 1948

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Florence Prag Kahn." (Viewed on December 16, 2018) <>.


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