Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first-ever female Muslim judge in U.S. history and the first African-American woman to serve on New York’s highest court, was found dead Wednesday on the bank of the New York’s Hudson River, police said.
Abdus-Salaam, 65, was discovered floating fully clothed on the Manhattan side of the river just before 2 p.m., by the Henry Hudson Parkway near W. 132nd St. just a mile from her central Harlem home.
Police sources said there were no signs of obvious trauma or injuries indicating foul play.
Abdus-Salaam, who made history as the country’s first female Muslim judge, was nominated in 2013 to serve on the state Court of Appeals by Gov. Cuomo. “As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer,”
Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday.
“Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time,” the governor added.