Shirley Temple will forever be etched into pop culture history as the perennially positive child star with 56 blond ringlets who starred in more than two dozen movies in the 1930s, bringing a dose of optimism to Americans during . Numbers like “On the Good Ship Lollipop” from the 1934 film Bright Eyes雷电竞娱乐 epitomized her persona as a cherubic darling, who was even awarded an honorary Academy Award at the age of six.

″People in the Depression wanted something to cheer them up, and they fell in love with a dog and a little girl,″ Temple, who died on February 10, 2014, of complications from pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, .

雷电竞娱乐Being America’s sweetheart didn’t last forever — and neither did her success at the box office as she grew up. By the age of 22, she officially retired from show business, eventually paving a prominent career for herself in politics, which lasted longer than her time in Hollywood.

Shirley Temple, circa 1934

Shirley Temple, circa 1934

sitting in J. Edgar Hoover’s “fleshy” lap and with a slingshot at Eleanor Roosevelt’s rear end during a Hyde Park barbecue.

, her at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. — and she followed.

the military publication . “During that time I was privileged to know many people connected with the Eisenhower administration. We knew some of the joint chiefs of staff… As happens to anyone living in Washington, you get involved in politics. You want to know more... to do more.”

Shirley Temple (center) at home with her family in 1957: (clockwise from bottom left) daughter Susan Agar, son Charles Black Jr., daughter Lori Black and husband Charles A. Black

Shirley Temple (center) at home with her family in 1957: (clockwise from bottom left) daughter Susan Agar, son Charles Black Jr., daughter Lori Black and husband Charles A. Black

, raised money for the Republican party and also supported Richard Nixon.

Eventually, the couple settled in northern California and had two children, son Charlie and daughter Lori. The 1967 death of Republican J. Arthur Younger in California’s 11th district where Temple lived left a vacancy in Congress, giving her the opportunity to get involved on a whole different level — she decided to run for his spot in Congress.

“I was the last to enter. I also was the only woman — there were 11 men,” Temple told Stars and Stripes雷电竞娱乐. Despite that disadvantage — as well as the fact they’d often play “On the Good Ship Lollipop” at campaign stops — she earned about 34,000 votes, coming in second, losing to Paul N. McCloskey.

Shirley Temple Black with Pennsylvania Congressman Irving Whalley

Shirley Temple with Pennsylvania congressman Irving Whalley, September 17, 1969

Temple worked in the State Department for more than two decades

While she didn’t get elected into a political role, her run still impressed people, notably President Richard Nixon雷电竞娱乐. He appointed her to the U.S. delegation for the United Nations’ General Assembly’s 24th session in 1969, where she championed issues like refugee rights, the challenges for the aging population and environmental concerns.

And that was just the beginning. In 1974, Gerald Ford appointed her as the ambassador to Ghana, and when she returned to the Capitol in 1976, she became chief of protocol, where she oversaw the program training new envoys. “We teach them how to get used to being called Ambassador and having Marines saluting,” , according to the New York Times. “Then, on Day 3, we tell them what to do if they’re taken hostage.”

While she lost her position during Jimmy Carter’s administration, she went back during Ronald Reagan’s time as a co-chair of the ambassadorial training seminars and then George H.W. Bush雷电竞娱乐 asked her in 1989 to become ambassador to Czechoslovakia — a prestigious position that was often reserved for career diplomats. She was the first woman to hold the title.

, according to Newsweek). And she even earned praise from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “[She was] very intelligent, very tough-minded, very disciplined,” , according to the Time.

Altogether, she ended up working for more than 20 years in State Department positions. In 1988, she earned the rank of honorary U.S. Foreign Service officer. A decade later in 1998, she was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime achievement.

Stars and Stripes. “The pay's lousy, but other rewards — personal rewards — are great.”