Condoleeza Rice made history in 2005 when she became the first African-American woman to become the Secretary of State of the United States. Her story begins when she was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 14, 1954.
Rice was an only child and experienced racism growing up in the segregated south. She went on to earn her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Denver and obtained her master's degree from the University of Notre Dame. She later returned to the University of Denver to receive her Ph.D.
Rice took her passion for international relations to Washington, D.C. In 1989, she became director of Soviet and East European affairs with the National Security Council and the special assistant to President George H.W. Bush.
In 2001, she was appointed national security adviser by George W. Bush and later became Secretary of State. In 2008, she returned to Stanford University, where she is currently a professor in several departments, including political science and in the Graduate School of Business.
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(Photo: David Madison/Getty Images)