Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the national trade organization of the U.S. book publishing industry. Mrs. Schroeder left Congress undefeated in 1996 after serving in the House of Representatives for 24 years. From January to June 1997, she held the rank of Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, before assuming her post at AAP on June 1,1997.
Mrs. Schroeder graduated from the University of Minnesota (working as an insurance claims adjuster to support herself through college), and went on to Harvard Law School, as one of only 15 women in a class of more than 500 men. She earned her J.D. and moved to Denver, Colorado with her husband James, who encouraged her to challenge an incumbent Republican for Colorado’s First Congressional District seat in 1972.
The mother of two young children at her election, Mrs. Schroeder went on to serve 12 terms in the House of Representatives. During her tenure in the House, she became the Dean of Congressional Women, co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues for 10 years and served on the House Judiciary Committee, the Post Office and Civil Services Committee, and was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. As chair of the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families from 1991 to 1993, Mrs. Schroeder saw the Family and Medical Leave Act and the National Institute of Health Revitalization Act to fruition in 1993, a fitting legislative achievement for her lifetime of work on behalf of women’s and family issues.
Mrs. Schroeder was an early supporter of legalized abortion and sponsored legislation making it a federal crime to obstruct access to abortion clinics. She was also active in military issues, expediting the National Security Committee’s vote to allow women to fly combat missions in 1991, and working to improve the situation of military families through passage of her Military Family Act in 1985.
A leader in the cause of education and a champion of free speech, Mrs. Schroeder has never been a single-issue individual. As ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee on Courts and Intellectual Property, she was one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on copyright issues and a strong advocate for protecting intellectual property rights and for reinforcing the creative incentive for developing intellectual property. She continued this advocacy in her leadership of AAP.
Mrs. Schroeder is the author of two books: “Champion of the Great American Family: A Personal and Political Book” (Random House) and “24 Years of House Work… and the Place Is Still a Mess: My Life in Politics” (Andrews McMeel), as well as numerous publications. She is also the recipient of many awards, holds honorary degrees from numerous institutions, and is currently a member of many non-profit, academic and for profit boards.