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.
Olga Mendez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to a state legislature in the mainland United States has died in New York City. The former New York state senator was 84.
A nephew said Mendez died Wednesday morning at her East Harlem home. Erick Vazquez said she had been diagnosed with cancer.
Mendez was a state senator for more than two decades, from 1978 to 2004. She wielded tremendous political influence in the Hispanic community.
Republican-turned-independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Mendez helped him see the wisdom of reaching across partisan lines.
Mendez lost her seat after switching parties, from Democrat to Republican.
She was born in 1925 in the Puerto Rican city of Mayaguez, on the west coast of the U.S. island.