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Harriett Woods dies at 79


By KWMU Staff

St. Louis – Former Missouri Lieutenant Governor and Missouri state senator Harriett Woods died Thursday night. She was 79.

Woods began her political career as a member of the University City Council in 1962, where she served for eight years.

Woods was a Democrat elected to the Missouri State Senate in 1976 and was re-elected in 1980. In 1982, she made a strong bid for the US Senate, running against incumbent Republican John Danforth.

In 1984 Woods became the first woman elected to a statewide office in Missouri when she won the lieutenant governor's race. She went on to serve as the president of the National Womans Political Caucus from 1991 to 1995.

Woods was diagnosed with leukemia in March while teaching political and community involvement courses at two New York colleges. She was a regular commentator at KWMU Public Radio.

A family statement issued by Woods family said:

"she will be remembered most as a loving mother and grandmother, but we are also incredibly proud of her life devoted to public service and her passionate and determined efforts to aid society's most vulnerable - the elderly, minorities and the homeless ... to obtain equal opportunities for women ... and mentor future generations of leaders".

While there will be no visitation, a memorial service will be held later this month. The family will provide details of those plans in the coming days