A funeral will be held Monday for former New York state Sen. Olga Mendez. She was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to a state legislature in the mainland United States.
Mendez died Wednesday at her East Harlem home. She was 84. She had been diagnosed with cancer.
The funeral Mass will be held Monday at the Church of the Holy Agony in Manhattan. She will be buried in the Bronx.
Mendez was a state senator from 1978 to 2004. She wielded tremendous political influence in the Hispanic community and beyond.
Republican-turned-independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Mendez helped him see the wisdom of reaching across partisan lines to “do what’s right for your constituents.”
She was born in 1925 in the Puerto Rican city of Mayaguez, on the west coast of the U.S. island. Mendez began her political career in 1972 when she was elected as a New York delegate.