You are reading

Claire Shulman, First Woman to Serve as Queens Borough President, Passes Away at 94

Claire Shulman passed away Sunday at the age of 94 (Photo: MTA)

Aug. 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, the first woman to hold the position, died Sunday at the age of 94.

Shulman, who served as borough president from 1986 to 2002, had long suffered from lung and pancreatic cancer. She died in her home Sunday surrounded by her children and family, according to AMNY.

Queens officials from across the borough mourned her death and celebrated her life.

“Claire Shulman was larger-than-life,” Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee said. “She did not waste time, and lived every single minute fully and with purpose. In a borough known for its trailblazers, few have led a life of dedicated public service as robust and as effective as Claire Shulman.”

Lee will host a special tribute to Shulman’s life and legacy in the coming days.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, who most recently served as borough president before being elected to her current role, said she was extremely saddened to hear of Shulman’s death.

“I had the pleasure of working for Claire when she was the Queens Borough President…,” Katz said. “A fierce leader who dedicated her life to bettering the lives of all Queens residents and paved the way for women leaders in the borough.”

Shulman was the first of many woman to be borough president. She was succeeded by Helen Marshall, who died in 2017. Katz and Lee have since followed.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng also honored Shulman’s memory.

“I am devastated about the passing of Claire Shulman,” Meng said. “A great friend, mentor, and role model, she was an incredible woman and a political icon who during her time as Borough President was the embodiment of Queens.”

“Claire believed strongly in empowering women and pushing for more women in leadership positions, particularly in public service, way before it was popular to do so,” Meng added. “She always believed in me, encouraged me, and set high standards that I strove to achieve.”

Meng said she spoke to Shulman recently and the former borough president thanked her for her work in Washington and she she was proud of her.

“There is no way to describe how much that meant to me. I am so proud and fortunate to have known her, and I will always hold on to those words,” Meng said.

In October, Shulman had endorsed Council Member Donovan Richards for Queens Borough President. When he won the Democratic nomination for the position, she was his first call, he said.

“I lost a good friend last night. Queens lost a true gem last night,” Richards tweeted. “Claire Shulman was one of a kind. Her commitment to building institutions and fostering opportunities for people from all walks of life in Queens can’t be overstated.”

email the author: [email protected]

3 Comments

Click for Comments 
Mac

Penner- Your post is partisan. Republicans are more partisan than democrats. This partisanship started with Newt Gingrich and went into the Clinton impeachment and continues today.

1
2
Reply
Larry Penner

Queens Boro President Claire Schulman could work across the isle with Republican Mayor Rudy Guiliani and several local Republican NYC Council members on a regular bipartisan basis harkening back to an age of collegiality no longer seen today. Schulman like New York’s late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stood head and shoulders above today’s generation of ultra partisan Democrats. She was from an era that included more moderate independent Democrats as opposed to today’s politically correct “my way or the highway” extreme liberal Democrats who have no tolerance for views other than their own.

In our era of highly partisan politics, how disappointing that members from different parties and ideological commitments seldom can come together on behalf of all citizens. Schulman was a role model others should be emulating. She will be missed by all

Larry Penner

8
11
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.