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Feinstein was hailed as a caring mentor and fearless leader. Here’s what to know.

On the steps of the building where she led her city through one of its darkest hours and launched a political career that would make her a top power broker in Washington, leaders and loved ones honored Senator Dianne Feinstein on Thursday in a stirring memorial service before she was to be laid to rest at a private family burial.

“Dianne commanded respect and she gave respect,” said Vice President Kamala Harris, who like Ms. Feinstein moved from San Francisco to the upper reaches of power in the nation’s capital. “She was a serious and gracious person who welcomed debate and discussion, but always required that it would be well-informed and studied.”

Ms. Harris led a delegation of leaders from Washington who arrived in San Francisco on Thursday morning. The service outside City Hall included recorded remarks from President Biden and remembrances by top Democrats in Congress, along with the city’s mayor, London Breed — the only woman to hold the job other than Ms. Feinstein — and the senator’s granddaughter, Eileen Mariano.

Here are the details:

  • President Biden, who as chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee recruited Ms. Feinstein to join its ranks, mourned the loss of “a kind and loyal friend” and said that her life was “a reminder that our democracy depends on the constitution of our character as a people.”

  • Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, said he was “dazzled” by Ms. Feinstein when he worked with her on the 1994 assault weapons ban, which he said “turned a new leaf” for gun safety. “Her integrity made her sparkle like a diamond in the Senate,” he said.

  • Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker of the House and a longtime friend and neighbor of Ms. Feinstein’s, called her “a trailblazing model and a mentor of generosity and sweetness.”

  • Ms. Feinstein died on Sept. 29 at the age of 90. Her body was flown to San Francisco over the weekend so that she could lie in state not in the Capitol Rotunda, as many other prominent politicians have done, but in her beloved hometown, which she led through a period of great tumult after the assassination of her predecessor.

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom of California appointed Laphonza Butler, the president of Emily’s List and a former labor leader, to fill the Senate vacancy and serve out Ms. Feinstein’s term. She was sworn in this week in Washington.

  • Ms. Feinstein had announced that she intended to retire at the end of her term in January 2025, and an intense race was already underway to succeed her.

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