Cardiss Collins, the first woman to represent the state of Illinois in Congress, has passed away at the age of 81.
Collins died Sunday evening after suffering from a stroke.
She had never originally aspired to politics but was elected upon the death of her husband, George W. Collins, who died in an airplane crash in 1972. Although it was not her original plan, she managed to hold office until 1994 when she was elected with 79% of the votes. The former congresswoman is survived by her only child Kevin and granddaughter Candice.
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