As a nation mourns the loss of Shirley Temple Black, arguably the most successful and well-known child actress in American history, some may wonder what this icon was up to in her later years. Her last film, The Story of Seabiscuit, was made in 1949. What was next for her?
Politics. In 1967, Shirley ran for U.S. Congress for the Republican Party, but lost the primary. She did not stop at this loss, however. In 1969, Nixon appointed her to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations, and it was there that her political career began. Over the following 20 years, she served under presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush as chief of protocol, ambassador to Ghana, and ambassador to Czechoslovakia.
As we look back on a woman known for being a child actress that cheered us through the Great Depression, let's not forget that she continued to serve us beyond her Hollywood beginnings.