Flags to fly at half-staff in honor of former Camden mayor Gwendolyn Faison

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Flags will be flying at half-staff at state buildings in New Jersey on Tuesday in honor of former Camden mayor Gwendolyn Faison.

She passed away on Saturday at the age of 96.

Faison was the first woman to be elected mayor of Camden, becoming a trailblazer for women in general and women of color in particular.

Faison was appointed to the Camden City Council in 1983, and served on the council during the 1980s and 1990s.

She became the first Black resident of Camden to serve on the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders, now known as the Camden County Board of Commissioners. In 1997, Faison became the first Black woman to serve as president of the Camden City Council.

In 2000, Faison became the first woman mayor in Camden's history, and was subsequently reelected to the office for two full terms, remaining in office until 2010.

FILE: Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison poses in her City Hall office in Camden, N.J., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2001.

AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price

"Mayor Faison provided stability and civility to Camden City Hall during a time of great upheaval," said Governor Murphy. "As the first woman to serve as Mayor of Camden, Gwendolyn was a trailblazer and a role model to future generations. She will be greatly missed."

Faison was born in Clinton, North Carolina in 1925. She attended Shaw University, Temple University and Rutgers University.

Following her decades at mayor, Faison remained an active member of the Tenth Street Baptist Church in Camden.

Funeral arrangements are being finalized.
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