Millicent Hammond Fenwick entered public affairs as a member of a local school board and went on to serve in the U.S. Congress from 1975-1983.
Millicent also had a career unrelated to politics. She worked for Vogue magazine -- as a model and an associate editor! and other Condé Nast publications from 1938 to 1952. In 1948 she wrote Vogue's Book of Etiquette.
Born in New York City, Millicent attended Columbia University and the New School for Social Research in New York City.
During those years, she also served on the board of education of Bernardsville, NJ, where she lived. In 1958, after retiring from publishing , she went into politics fulltime, serving on the Bernardsville Borough Council, in the NJ state assembly, and as director of New Jersey Consumer Affairs. In 1974, she defeated future Governor Thomas Kean for the Republican nomination for the House of Representatives from New Jersey's Fifth District, and she held that position she held for four terms.
Millicent addressed a wide array of issues in Congress, from small business and banking to labor, education and the aging. A fiscal conservative, she differed from many Republican colleagues in her support for the Equal Rights Amendment, federal funding for abortions, and the food stamp program. She worked to establish the Helsinki Commission on Human Rights and worked to eliminate the tax provision that penalized working couples.
Her personal style and combination of patrician manners, a great, willingness to offer opinions and political convictions that defied easy categorization, gained Millicent a national reputation. Cartoonist Gary Trudeau based the fictional Congresswoman Lacey Davenport in his "Doonesbury" series on her.
After an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1982, Millicent served as United States Representative, with rank of ambassador, to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture for five years. She died in 1992.