New Jersey’s Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver has died at the age of 71.
As reported by ABC News, Oliver’s passing on Tuesday, August 1 comes a day after she was rushed to the hospital for an undisclosed medical issue.
“It is with incredible sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of the State of New Jersey. She was not only a distinguished public servant but also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero,” the Oliver family shared in a statement.
Lieutenant Governor Oliver was raised in a Newark neighborhood and has worked in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. In addition to her role as Lt. Governor, she had also served as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
She lived her life as a true “Jersey Girl” and was a resident of East Orange for more than 40 years. Oliver was the first African-American woman in state history to serve as Assembly Speaker.
“When I selected her to be my running mate in 2017, Lieutenant Governor Oliver was already a trailblazer in every sense of the word. She had already made history as the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the General Assembly, and just the second Black woman in the nation’s history to lead a house of a state legislature. I knew then that her decades of public service made her the ideal partner for me to lead the State of New Jersey. It was the best decision I ever made,” Governor Phil Murphy stated in a press release.