Rosa DeLauro was born in New Haven, Conn., where she still resides. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1964 from Marymount College and a master's degree in international relations in 1966 from Columbia University.
During the 1960s, DeLauro was an anti-poverty worker. From 1976 to 1977, she was executive assistant to New Haven Mayor Frank Logue. She served as his development administrator from 1977 to 1979.
DeLauro was chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd from 1981 to 1987. She also managed his 1980 campaign.
She was elected to the U.S. House in 1990.
DeLauro and her husband, Stanley Greenberg, who was President Bill Clinton's pollster, have three children.
Rosa DeLauro's rise through the Democratic Party's ranks has been a lifetime affair, taking her from her parents' New Haven, Conn., living room to a U.S. House leadership post.
DeLauro has long enjoyed a safe seat in Connecticut's heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District. In 2012, she had raised $872,000 by the end of June, while her Republican opponent, Wayne Winsley, had raised less than $25,000.
Winsley contends the 2010 health care reform bill signed by President Barack Obama erodes freedom with its mandate requiring health insurance. He vowed to fight to repeal the law if elected.
DeLauro has championed the law, saying it provides new consumer protections and will ensure that Americans have access to quality, affordable health care while reducing long-term health care costs.
She favors gun control measures, including a mandatory background check for purchases at gun shows, re-enacting the assault weapons ban and a ban on the importation of large capacity ammunition clips.
DeLauro was among several members of Connecticut's congressional delegation in June 2012 to call for a stop to a planned interest rate increase on student loans.
In January 2012, DeLauro announced legislation to establish national standards for mortgage lenders and require them to improve communication with struggling homeowners. DeLauro said new national standards would help people negotiate and avoid foreclosure. The bill did not pass.
A longtime food safety advocate, DeLauro in 2012 said she would push for the nation's largest produce-testing program, the Microbiological Data Program, to stay open beyond year's end since Congress had not included funding for it in their agriculture bills.
DeLauro, who chairs an appropriations subcommittee, was in the national spotlight in early 2009 after a widespread salmonella outbreak in peanuts. She proposed legislation that would separate food safety from the FDA and create a national food czar.
"Given the numerous food-borne illness outbreaks over the past several years, it is becoming painfully clear that the current regulatory structure is antiquated and ill-equipped to handle these extensive investigations," she said.
When a study in March 2010 found that food-borne illnesses cost the United States $152 billion annually, DeLauro called the costs "shockingly high."
"If people can't engage in this issue because of the humanitarian aspect or the public health aspect, maybe they're willing to listen because of the economic aspect," DeLauro told reporters at the time.
In July 2010, after a panel of FDA advisers voted to keep a controversial diabetes drug on the market — despite evidence that it can cause heart attacks or strokes — DeLauro called into question the legitimacy of the panel.
"The result of the advisory committee vote is gravely disappointing and raises serious questions as to whether the science was presented in an unbiased manner," she said.
In July 2012, she urged the House Agriculture Committee not to reduce funding for the food stamp program.
DeLauro is the co-chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee, and she is a vocal advocate for issues such as expanding health insurance for the poor and raising the minimum wage. An ovarian cancer survivor, she has worked to steer more federal funding into cancer research and has pushed for longer hospital stays for women who have breast cancer surgery.
DeLauro has channeled funds to Connecticut health care projects and facilities, education initiatives and child welfare agencies. She has pushed for equal wages for women and tax cuts to help the middle class. She has tried to protect funding for Connecticut weapons programs and transportation projects.
In 2005, after the Navy passed up Stratford-based Sikorsky in favor of Lockheed Martin and its international partners to build the next generation of presidential helicopters, DeLauro was one of the deal's most vocal detractors.
She fought efforts to activate a power cable under the Long Island Sound from New Haven to Shoreham, N.Y., voting in November 2003 against a federal energy bill that would allow the power cable to operate under Long Island Sound.
DeLauro was executive director of Countdown '87, an organization established to lobby Congress to end military aid to the rebel forces in Nicaragua. She also was the executive director of EMILY's List, a political action committee that raises money for women who support abortion rights and run for political office.
Committee Assignments: Appropriations
American Conservative Union Rating: 4
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 90
Rosa DeLauro won her August 2014 primary, she will face James Brown in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 13, 2014.)