Cindy Sheehan was born in Inglewood, California in 1957 to working-class parents who came of age during the depression and World II. Cindy’s parents, Shirley and Dennis Miller met at the Lockheed Martin Corporation where they both worked during the 1950s. Shirley raised three children—Cindy, her younger sister Dede and brother Scott—while Dennis worked as an electrician. Cindy attended public school in Bellflower, California.
In 1974, Cindy Miller met Patrick Sheehan. The couple married in 1977 in Norwalk, California. In the subsequent years, Cindy and Pat Sheehan had four children Casey, Carly, Andy and Jane, and settled their family in Vacaville, California. When her youngest child was two, Cindy decided to go back to college to earn her bachelor’s degree. She first attended Cerritos College where graduated with honors. Thereafter, Cindy transferred to UCLA where she majored in U.S. history with a concentration in California history.
After studying at UCLA, Cindy worked as a Youth Minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Vacaville, California for eight years and coordinated an after-school program for at-risk middle school children for the City of Vacaville.
Cindy’s world changed forever on April 4, 2004, when her eldest child, Casey Austin, was killed while serving in Iraq. He was 24 years old. Casey, who was a Specialist in the First Cavalry Unit in Sadr City, was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously for his valor in combat.
In response to this tragedy, Cindy Sheehan founded the Gold Star Families for Peace in January 2005. This organization, which is comprised of family members who have had relatives die as a result of war, is dedicated to ending the occupation in Iraq and bringing our troops home.
In August 2005, Cindy traveled to Crawford, Texas, with the goal of speaking personally to President Bush to demand an end to the occupation of Iraq. Other peace activists joined Cindy’s efforts and the demonstrations that came to be known as “Camp Casey” began. Camp Casey was a regular gathering held whenever Bush was in Crawford, Texas, and it drew thousands of activists and celebrities from all over the world to protest the Iraq conflict.
Between Camp Casey events, Cindy traveled to numerous countries to speak to world leaders about diplomatic resolution to conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. She has met with foreign leaders and legislators from South Korea, Canada, Venezuela, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. Cindy Sheehan has received special recognition for her diplomatic missions from the U.S. Congress and the governments of South Korea, Scotland, and Canada.
Cindy Sheehan has been a keynote speaker and honored guest at numerous conferences and organizations around the world. She has received dozens of peace awards and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Nobel Literature Laureate Dario Fo has written a play about Cindy, called Peace Mom.
Known worldwide for her determined efforts to promote peace, Cindy Sheehan has been dubbed “the Rosa Parks of the antiwar movement” and “Peace Mom” by the mainstream press. Specifically, she has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, The Nation, Rolling Stone, The Advocate, and Vanity Fair, along with scores of alternative media publications.
Cindy is an accomplished author, having written numerous newspaper columns and magazine articles. She has written three books: Not One More Mother’s Child, Dear President Bush, and Peace Mom. In addition, Cindy has authored several articles that have been published in compilations and written forwards to many others.
Cindy Sheehan resides in the Mission District in San Francisco, California.