One of thirteen children, Maxine Waters was born in Kinloch, Missouri, to Remus and Velma Lee Carr Moore. She graduated from Vashon High School in St. Louis, and moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, in 1961. She worked in a garment factory and as a telephone operator before being hired as an assistant teacher with the Head Start program at Watts in 1966.
She later enrolled at Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles), and graduated with a sociology degree in 1970.
On July 29, 1994 Waters was challenged for making inappropriate remarks during a one-minute speech. She then ignored the Chair’s request to suspend speaking until the point of order was settled. Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA) rose and called out “get the Mace,” to restore order. The Chair kept pounding the gavel and finally stated, “the Chair is about to direct the Sgt-at-Arms to present the Mace!” Waters then suspended, and the Chair was able to rule on the point of order without having to resort to the Mace.
She was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 1997-98.
No other Representative has been threatened with the official Mace of the United States House of Representatives since Maxine Waters was silenced in 1994.