The National Archives Catalog

Biographical Note

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Public Element
No No Variable Character Length (9999) None Yes


Definition: Explanations or significant information relevant to the understanding of a person's life or activities.


Purpose: Provides information regarding a person's life or activities. Helps distinguish among people with the same name.


Relationship: This element is dependent on Name. To have Biographical Note, Name must be created.



Enter a narrative account of the person's history, including any significant information that makes clear the context in which the archival materials were created, accumulated or maintained. If known, include place of birth, dates of birth and death, variant names, occupation, and significant accomplishments.

Only write biographical notes for people who are the creating individuals for archival materials. It is not necessary to create a Biographical Note for people who are the subject, donor, or contributor to the archival materials.

Write in complete sentences. Do not write in the present tense, which would need subsequent revisions.

Be precise and brief. Do not develop elaborate biographical essays.




Sarah Weddington was born in Abilene Texas in 1945. In 1965 she received her B.S. degree from McMurry College in Abilene, and in 1967 her J.D. from the University of Texas, Austin. She was a Texas state legislator and in private practice in Austin from 1972 to 1977, when she came to Washington to be the General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture. In October 1978 she became Special Assistant (Assistant after September 1979) to the President for Women's Affairs. In 1981 she returned to Austin to practice law.


In January 1977, Martha (Bunny) Mitchell became Special Assistant to the President for Special Projects. She had been a Jimmy Carter campaign worker in the 1976 Presidential campaign. She worked in the White House for 19 months. Her particular responsibilities were the District of Columbia, African-Americans, and drug abuse programs.

Mitchell was a native of Gary, Indiana, and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism from Michigan State University.

Mitchell formed the Institute of Continuing Education for Women at Federal City College in Washington, DC, to provide nontraditional education programs and services to women in the Washington metropolitan area. At the Institute, Mitchell designed a major educational\vocational rehabilitation program for inmates of the Women's Detention Center.

In 1976 she received an award for her work as executive producer of an Emmy Award winning television special.

In the District of Columbia, Mitchell served as Chairperson of the Women's Political Caucus, as member of the Commission on the Status of Women, and as Alternate National Committeewoman to the Democratic National Committee. Her most recent position before joining the White House staff was as information officer for the Drug Abuse Council. On leaving the White House in August 1978, Mitchell was assigned to the Small Business Administration as assistant to the Deputy Administrator, with general responsibilities involving minorities and women in SBA programs.

Mitchell retained use of her nickname Bunny in her professional life to avoid confusion with Martha B. Mitchell, wife of former Attorney General John Mitchell in the Nixon Administration, who had been prominently in the headlines until her death in 1976.

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