Cynthia McKinney was born in Atlanta to Billy McKinney, one of Atlanta’s first African-American police officers and a longtime member of the state legislature. Her father was known for his fiery spirit, and his daughter was no different.
In 1988, Cynthia followed her father into the Georgia Statehouse and served two terms there. In 1992, she was elected to the U.S. Congress from the newly created 11th Congressional District, which stretched from Atlanta east almost to the Atlantic Ocean.
Two years later the U.S. Supreme Court ruled her district unconstitutional. She easily won re-election in 1996 from the 4th District, which had a white majority.
She was twice re-elected but lost in 2002 after speculating that the Bush administration had prior knowledge of the September 11th attacks.
Re-elected in 2004, she lost again two years later after an altercation with U.S. Capitol Police. She was the Green Party candidate for president in 2008.
The path-breaking and outspoken McKinney was first elected to the U.S. Congress on November 3, 1992, Today in Georgia History.
In 2006, the city of Sarasota, Fla. declared April 8 "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney Day."