28 Facts About Norma Paulus


Norma Jean Paulus was an American lawyer and politician in the state of Oregon.


Norma Paulus made unsuccessful bids to become Governor of Oregon and United States Senator.


Norma Paulus Jean Petersen was born in Belgrade, Nebraska, on March 13,1933.


Norma Paulus was raised as one of seven children in Eastern Oregon, where she graduated from Burns Union High School in Burns, in 1950.


Norma Paulus started her career as the secretary for the district attorney for Harney County in Burns, Oregon.


Latourette recommended Norma Paulus to attend law school, which she did at Willamette University without a college degree, enrolling in 1956.


Norma Paulus graduated with honors from Willamette University College of Law in Salem with a LL.

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Norma Paulus began her political career by winning election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1970.


Norma Paulus won re-election in 1972 and 1974 to additional two-year terms in the House with her district changing to District 31, serving through the 1975 special legislative session.


Norma Paulus was then elected as Oregon's first female Secretary of State in 1976, the first time a woman won election to a statewide office in Oregon.


Norma Paulus took office on January 3,1977, and served through January 7,1985, after winning re-election to a second four-year term in 1980.


Norma Paulus kept a small statue of a lion on a desk in her downtown Portland home that was given to her in October 1981 by the northeast Portland Lions Club when she was inducted as the group's first female member.


The next day, Norma Paulus was visited in her office at the Oregon Capitol by the president of the statewide Oregon Lions Club.


Norma Paulus had come to ask Paulus to return the Portland club's gift.


Norma Paulus was a founding member of the Oregon Women's Political Caucus, a bipartisan group of Oregon legislators in 1972.


Norma Paulus was instrumental in efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment in Oregon in 1973 and 1977.


Norma Paulus remarked in her speech that "We have come a long way" referring to women in politics.


Norma Paulus resigned her position on the Council in late 1989 to run for Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction after the retirement of Verne Duncan.


Norma Paulus won election to a full four-year term in that office later in the year, and was re-elected in 1994.


Norma Paulus then ran for the United States Senate in the December 5,1995, special primary election.


Norma Paulus supported school-to-work initiatives for reforming public education while in office, which were part of the 1991 reforms.


At the time Norma Paulus was one of only ten women in the nation to hold the top education position in their state.


Norma Paulus left the office on January 4,1999, after two terms.


From 2000 until 2013, Norma Paulus was a member of the Oregon State Capitol Foundation Board.


Norma Paulus was an original member of the organization and served as chair of the group.

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Norma Paulus served on the boards of the High Desert Museum in Bend, the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, and the City Club of Portland.


Norma Paulus worked to raise funds for a statue honoring former governor and longtime friend Tom McCall, with the statue completed and installed in Salem along the Willamette River in 2008.


Norma Paulus died in a Portland nursing home on February 28,2019, from complications of vascular dementia, at the age of 85.