Cardiss Collins dead: First African-American Woman To Represent Illinois In Congress Dies At 81 | Roland Martin Reports

Cardiss Collins dead: First African-American Woman To Represent Illinois In Congress Dies At 81

Source: AP / The Huffington Post

CHICAGO — Cardiss Collins, the first African-American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, died of complications from pneumonia at a Virginia hospital, according to a family friend.

Mel Blackwell said this week that Collins died Sunday evening at a hospital in Alexandria, Va., after suffering a stroke and spending time in a nursing home.

“She was a groundbreaking congresswoman,” Blackwell said.

Collins originally was elected to fill the seat left vacant when her husband, Congressman George W. Collins, who represented what was then the 7th District, was killed in a 1972 airplane crash. In 1994, the last year she ran for office, she was re-elected with 79 percent of the vote.

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