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Dedicated Democrat Roz Wyman Awaits Her 16th Convention

by Eli Panken /

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On the floor of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Roz Wyman vividly recalls her first convention — in the summer of 1952.

"I was a 22-year-old at that time, and I was the youngest person in the convention hall," Wyman told NBC News' Lester Holt. "I was so excited and so new, and I loved politics."

Wyman has been to every Democratic convention since, except for the raucous 1968 convention in Chicago. With the coming convention in Philadelphia, the 85-year-old superdelegate from California is excited to witness history yet again with the formal nomination of Hillary Clinton.

"When she gets up on that stage and says, 'I accept the nomination,' I'll probably cry," Wyman said. "Just thinking of it, it's so important."

San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, left, confers with Democratic National Conference Chairwoman Roz Wyman in San Francisco in July 1984.AP

Wyman has been actively involved in Democratic conventions since 1960, when she insisted to Bobby Kennedy that John F. Kennedy's acceptance speech should be held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, opening the event up to 50,000 people. She was chairwoman of the 1984 San Francisco convention and was given a piece of the podium, which she still keeps at home.

But Wyman's main focus in the past presidential cycles has been on electing a woman to the presidency.

"We have fought to get women in jobs," she said. "We have fought to get them on boards. And here, maybe finally, we're going to having a woman as president of the United States."

Roz Wyman shakes hands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a signed photo.Roz Wyman

Her dream of a woman nominee was deferred in 2008, but Wyman was very impressed with how the convention was run and has continued to support the Democratic Party.

"I was excited for [Barack] Obama, and I've loved him as a president," she said.

On the eve of her 16th convention, Wyman is optimistic.

"Maybe we're going to make it this time. I sure hope and believe," she said. "And I'm going to put it on my gravestone — 'I was a good mother, and we elected Hillary president in 2016.'"

Roz Wyman is interviewed by NBC News' Lester Holt at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.NBC News

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