76 Facts About Gabby Giffords


Gabby Giffords served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 until 2003 and the Arizona Senate from 2003 until 2005 when she was elected to the US House.


Gabby Giffords had just begun her third term in January 2011 when she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt and mass shooting just outside of Tucson during an event with constituents.


Gabby Giffords has since recovered much of her ability to walk, speak, read, and write.


Gabby Giffords was greeted by a standing ovation upon her return to the House floor in August 2011.


Gabby Giffords attended President Obama's State of the Union address on January 24,2012, and appeared on the floor of the House the following day, at which time she formally submitted her resignation, receiving a standing ovation and accolades from her colleagues and the leadership of the House.


Gabby Giffords is married to former Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly, a United States senator from Arizona.


Gabrielle Dee Giffords was born in and grew up in Tucson, Arizona; her parents were Gloria Kay and Spencer J Giffords.

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Gabby Giffords was raised in a mixed religious environment, as her mother was a Christian Scientist and her father was Jewish.


Gabby Giffords's paternal grandfather, Akiba Hornstein, was a Jewish emigrant from Lithuania who changed his name to Giffords to avoid anti-Semitism in the United States.


Gabby Giffords received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Latin American History from Scripps College in California in 1993; and spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Chihuahua, Mexico.


Gabby Giffords returned to graduate school, earning a Master's degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University in 1996.


Gabby Giffords worked as an associate for regional economic development at Price Waterhouse in New York City.


Gabby Giffords switched her party affiliation from Republican to Democratic in 2000 and was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2001.


Gabby Giffords was elected to the Arizona Senate in the fall of 2002, at the time the youngest woman elected to that body.


Gabby Giffords took office in January 2003 and was re-elected in 2004.


Gabby Giffords resigned from the Arizona Senate on December 1,2005, in preparation for her congressional campaign.


Gabby Giffords said that Arizona was not alone in facing such challenges.


Gabby Giffords pushed for bills related to mental health and was named by the Mental Health Association of Arizona as the 2004 Legislator of the Year.


Gabby Giffords worked with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to promote all-day kindergarten.


On September 12,2006, Gabby Giffords won her party's nomination in the primary election.


Gabby Giffords won the race on November 7,2006, with 54 percent of the vote.


Gabby Giffords' victory was portrayed as evidence that Americans are accepting towards comprehensive immigration reform.


Gabby Giffords was the first woman with a Jewish father elected to Congress from Arizona.


On November 5,2010, Gabby Giffords was declared the victor after a close race against Republican Jesse Kelly.


Gabby Giffords had been targeted for defeat by Sarah Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC.

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Gabby Giffords participated in the reading of the United States Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 6,2011; she read the First Amendment.


Gabby Giffords advocated for a national day of recognition for cowboys as one of her first actions.


Gabby Giffords voted for the contentious May 2007 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Spending bill, saying, "I cannot, in good conscience, allow the military to run out of money while American servicemen and women are being attacked every day".


Gabby Giffords has been a Girl Scout supporter for many years.


Gabby Giffords was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition.


Gabby Giffords was a co-founder of the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus.


On January 8,2011, Gabby Giffords was shot in the head outside a Safeway grocery store in Casas Adobes, Arizona, a suburban area northwest of Tucson, during her first "Congress on Your Corner" gathering of the year.


Gabby Giffords was quickly evacuated to the University Medical Center of Tucson in critical condition, though she was still conscious and "following commands" at the time.


Doctors who first treated Gabby Giffords said the bullet entered the back of her head and exited through the front of her skull, but physicians later concluded that it had traveled in the opposite direction.


Gabby Giffords initially was placed in an induced coma to allow her brain to rest.


Gabby Giffords was able to respond to simple commands when periodically awakened, but was unable to speak as she was on a ventilator.


Nancy Pelosi said Gabby Giffords' husband Mark Kelly acknowledged that there is a "rough road ahead" for his wife's recovery, but was encouraged by her responsiveness, which included the ability to signal with her hand and move both arms.


Shortly after the shootings, some questions were raised by the media as to whether Gabby Giffords could be removed from office under a state law that allows a public office to be declared vacant if the officeholder is absent for three months, but a spokesperson for the Arizona secretary of state said the statute "doesn't apply to federal offices" and was, therefore, not relevant.


Ophthalmologist Lynn Polonski surgically repaired Gabby Giffords' damaged eye socket, with additional reconstructive surgery to follow.


On March 12,2011, Gabby Giffords' husband informed her that six other people had been killed in the attack on her, but he did not identify who they were until months later.


Gabby Giffords was walking under supervision with perfect control of her left arm and leg, and able to write with her left hand.


Gabby Giffords was able to read and understand, and spoke in short phrases.


From early in her recovery, Gabby Giffords' husband had expressed confidence that she would be able to travel to the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to witness the launch of his final Space Shuttle mission, STS-134, which was scheduled for April 2011.


Gabby Giffords went to Florida to watch from a private family area with no public appearance or photography.


Gabby Giffords underwent cranioplasty surgery on May 18,2011, to replace the part of her skull that had been removed in January to permit her brain to swell after the gunshot to her head.

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On June 9,2011, her aide Pia Carusone announced that while Gabby Giffords' comprehension appeared to be "close to normal, if not normal", she was not yet using complete sentences.


Gabby Giffords was met with a standing ovation and accolades from her fellow members of Congress.


On January 22,2012, Gabby Giffords announced in a video statement that she intended to resign her seat so that she could focus on her recovery.


Gabby Giffords attended President Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address on January 24, and formally submitted her resignation on January 25.


Gabby Giffords has made appearances at the three Democratic National Conventions held since she left congress.


On September 6,2012, Gabby Giffords led the Pledge of Allegiance at that evening's meeting of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.


At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Gabby Giffords delivered a speech in support of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.


In January 2013, Gabby Giffords still had difficulty speaking and walking, and her right arm was paralyzed.


On January 8,2014, Gabby Giffords marked the third anniversary of the shooting by going skydiving.


Gabby Giffords was the Grand Marshal of the 2023 Rose Parade and presided over the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game.


Gabby Giffords married US Navy captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly on November 10,2007.


Gabby Giffords is a former member of the Arizona regional board of the Anti-Defamation League.


Gabby Giffords wrote about her experience in the Tucson Citizen.


Gabby Giffords is an avid reader, and was featured on NPR's Weekend Edition on July 9,2006, talking about her love of books.


Gabby Giffords was periodically interviewed in 2007 together with Illinois Republican Peter Roskam on NPR's All Things Considered.


Gabby Giffords voted against President Bush's Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.


Gabby Giffords was one of 60 lawmakers who voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 during its first House vote before switching to a yes vote in its second House vote, and she voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


Gabby Giffords argues that Americans are competing on a global level and that this competition starts in the classroom.


Gabby Giffords is a critic of the No Child Left Behind law, viewing it as an unfunded federal mandate.


Gabby Giffords has stated that the Arizona SB 1070 legislation is a "clear calling that the federal government needs to do a better job" and says that she hopes the legislation acts as a wake-up call to the federal government.

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Gabby Giffords claimed that SB1070 kept Arizona from attracting students and businesses.


Gabby Giffords worked to secure passage of the August 2010 bill to fund more Border Patrol agents and surveillance technology for Arizona's border with Mexico.


In 2008, Gabby Giffords introduced legislation that would have increased the cap on the H-1B visa from 65,000 per year to 130,000 per year.


Gabby Giffords said the bill would help high-tech companies in southern Arizona, some of which rely on H-1B employees.


However, Gabby Giffords' bill was never voted on by the House of Representatives.


In 2008, before being shot, Gabby Giffords opposed Washington, DC prohibitions on possession of handguns in the home and having usable firearms there, signing an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court to support its overturn.


Gabby Giffords was a surprise witness at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence on January 30,2013.


Gabby Giffords worked with a speech therapist for months in preparation for the speech, and performed "America" on the French horn, an instrument she had played as a teen, as a symbol of her recovery.


Gabby Giffords, still recovering from injuries sustained in the 2011 assassination attempt, attended the ship's keel-laying ceremony and etched her initials into a plate welded into the ship.


USS Gabrielle Gabby Giffords was christened at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, on June 13,2015.


Gabby Giffords attended the christening ceremony, along with Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden, who served as the ship's sponsor.