"Toughness doesn't have to come in a pinstripe suit."
For most San Franciscans over 40, the memory of Dianne Feinstein's November 27, 1978 press conference announcing the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk remains vivid. She was distressed but controlled. She heard the gunshots, had seen the killer, former Supervisor Dan White, in the moments between the two murders and he had rebuffed her attempt to talk to him. She raced to Milk's office, saw the fatal wound, tried to take his pulse, but knew immediately he was dead.
Only nine days earlier, 913 people, mostly former Bay Area residents, had committed mass suicide with Reverend Jim Jones in Guyana. The same year, her second and much loved husband, neurosurgeon Dr. Bertram Feinstein, had died of colon cancer. Though she had been contemplating retirement after returning the day before from a trip to the Mt. Everest area where she met the Dalai Lama, on that November day it fell to Dianne Feinstein not only to tell the world of the assassinations, but to step into Moscone's shoes as acting mayor. The very human and capable way in which she handled the situation, and later restored confidence to the city, proved her abilities. She vaulted to the forefront among California Democratic leaders.
She was born Dianne Goldman on June 23, 1933, the oldest of Betty and Leon Goldman's three daughters. She grew up in San Francisco's upscale Presidio Terrace neighborhood. Even today, when she is not in Washington DC, she lives in Presidio Terrace with her husband Richard Blum....