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Harper, Patricia (1932-)



  • Existence: 1932-


Former Iowa State Representative and Senator, Patricia Harper, was born December 4, 1932 in Cresco, Iowa to parents Martha Gossman Mullaney and Patrick Mullaney. Patricia Mullaney attended Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) and graduated in 1954. Also in that year, Patricia Harper married and divorced James Harper. Their daughter Susan was born in 1954. Harper received her master's degree from Iowa State Teachers College in 1961. She later took graduate coursework at Iowa State University, The University of Northern Iowa, The University of Iowa, and Columbia University in New York.

Before running for state office in 1986, Patricia Harper was a math and science high school teacher in Iowa and Minnesota. The majority of her teaching career was spent in Waterloo, Iowa. She also taught math at the University of Northern Iowa. A Democrat, Harper served as State Representative for Iowa House District 26 from 1987 to 1990 and 1992 to 1996. She retired from politics in 1996, but when a Senate seat in her district was vacated in 1997, Harper ran and won the District 13 seat. In 2002, Harper retired from the Iowa State Senate. Throughout Harper's time as Iowa Representative and Senator, she was an advocate for human services and educational issues. Matters concerning the mentally ill, the elderly, and the poor were also of great importance to her during her state service.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators oral histories

Identifier: IWA0089

Interviews with Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken.

Dates: 1988-1993

Patricia Harper papers

Identifier: IWA0510

Iowa State Representative and Senator who served in the legislature from 1987 to 2002.

Dates: 1986-2003

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