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Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen SebeliusPolitician, Governor. Democrat. Born: May 15, 1948, Cincinnati, Ohio. Served as 44th Governor of Kansas: January 13, 2003, to April 28, 2009.

The daughter of John "Jack" and Mary Kathryn (Dixon) Gilligan, Kathleen Gilligan was born Mary 15, 1948, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was the 62nd governor of Ohio from 1971 to 1975, and he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio. She attended Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, and graduated from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D. C., with a degree in political science. She later earned a master's in public administration from the University of Kansas.

She married Keith Gary Sebelius on December 31, 1974, in Columbus, Ohio. They had two sons: Ned and John Sebelius.

Sebelius served eight years as a state representative in Kansas and eight years as state insurance commissioner before successfully seeking the state's highest office. She was elected the 44th governor of Kansas in November 2002. A Democrat, Sebelius is the second woman to hold that office and the first to win a second four-year term—the governor soundly defeated her conservative Republican challenger in the November 2006 general election. She resigned on April 28, 2009, to accept appointment as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Barack Obama administration. She held that position until her resignation in June 2014.

Entry: Sebelius, Kathleen

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: December 2015

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.