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Jimmy Carter

Shirley Hufstedler, first US education secretary, dies at 90

Shirley Hufstedler, a former federal appellate court judge who served as the nation's first education secretary, has died. She was 90.

Hufstedler died Wednesday at a hospital in Glendale, California, Morrison & Foerster, the law firm she worked at, said. She had cerebrovascular disease.

A separate Department of Education was created under President Jimmy Carter, who elevated it to a Cabinet-level position and appointed Hufstedler its first secretary. Though her tenure was short -lived after Carter lost the election to Ronald Reagan, Hufstedler defended the department against Reagan's vows to dismantle it.

Education deserved a place at the Cabinet table in part...

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