Shelia Abdus-Salaam was the first female African-American and Muslim judge on the New York Court of Appeals and many sources are saying her body was found in the Hudson River on Wednesday according to police.
As of right now, it is unsure what happened to cause Abdus-Salaam’s death or how long she was missing to begin with. However, CNN reports that her husband reported her missing on Tuesday, the day before she was found.
The New York judge was 65 and had just started serving in the Court of Appeals in 2013. She graduated from Columbia University School of Law with her degree in 1977. Governor Cuomo has said that Abdus-Salaam was a “trailblazer.” She began her career the same year she graduated from law school as a staff attorney at the East Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation. Then she rose though the ranks to become a member of the Supreme Court for New York County in 1993.
Throughout her career, Abdus-Salaam was a voice for minorities of New York. She fought for low income families, same-sex couples, immigrants and more. Mayor DeBlasio tweeted that he is “Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Sheila Abdus-Salaam. She was a humble pioneer. My thoughts are with her family.”