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Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick: Wikis


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Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 13th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Lynn Rivers

Born June 25, 1945 (1945-06-25) (age 64)
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bernard Kilpatrick (divorced)
Children Kwame Kilpatrick
Residence Detroit
Alma mater Ferris State University, Western Michigan University, University of Michigan
Occupation high school teacher
Religion African Methodist Episcopal

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (born June 25, 1945, Detroit, Michigan) is an American politician and mother of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. She has been a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997. Since the 2002 redistricting, she has represented the 13th District comprising most of Detroit and portions of Downriver. She served as the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 110th Congress (2007-8).



Born Carolyn Jean Cheeks, she graduated from the Detroit High School of Commerce. She then attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids from 1968 to 1970 and received a B.S. from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo) in 1972. She earned a M.S. from the University of Michigan in 1977. She worked as a high school teacher and was later a member of the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1979 to 1996.

She was married to Bernard Nathaniel Kilpatrick, with whom she has daughter Ayanna and son Kwame Kilpatrick, who is notable for being a former mayor of Detroit who was convicted of felonies while serving in office.

She has six grandsons, including two sets of twins.


She is a member of the Detroit Substance Abuse Advisory Council.

Having defeated incumbent Barbara-Rose Collins in the 1996 Democratic primary, Kilpatrick was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 15th congressional district to the 105th and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving in the U.S. House from January 3, 1997 to the present. After redistricting in 2003, she began representing the 13th district. She was one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004. [1]

On December 6, 2006, The Congressional Black Caucus unanimously chose Kilpatrick as its chairwoman for the next two years.

In 2008, she faced stern challenges from former State Representative Mary Waters and State Senator Martha Scott in the Democratic primary. Kilpatrick's campaign was plagued by the controversy surrounding her son and his involvement in a text messaging sex scandal. However, on the August 5 primary election, Kilpatrick narrowly won with 39.1 percent of the vote, compared to Waters' 36 percent and Scott's 24 percent. On September 29, 2008, she voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. [2]

Committee assignments


Caucus and other membership


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Barbara-Rose Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Dingell, Jr.
Preceded by
Lynn N. Rivers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 13th congressional district

2003 – present
Political offices
Preceded by
Mel Watt
Chairman of Congressional Black Caucus
Succeeded by
Barbara Lee


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