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Sheila Abdus-Salaam

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Sheila Abdus-Salaam
Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
In office
May 6, 2013 – April 12, 2017
Appointed byAndrew Cuomo
Preceded byTheodore Jones
Personal details
Sheila Turner

(1952-03-14)March 14, 1952
Washington, D.C., U.S.
DiedApril 12, 2017(2017-04-12) (aged 65)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Alma materBarnard College
Columbia University

Sheila Abdus-Salaam (Sheila Turner; March 14, 1952 – April 12, 2017)[1] was an American judge. She served as a judge on the New York Court of Appeals. She was the first black woman and Muslim[1][2] to be appointed to a seat on New York's highest court, and the first Muslim woman to serve on the bench in the United States.[1]

Abdus-Salaam was found dead on April 12, 2017 at the age of 65. Her body was found floating in the Manhattan side of the Hudson River hours after she was reported missing from her home in Harlem.[1][3]

Police believe Abdus-Salaam committed suicide by jumping into the river as she was suffering from depression for a long time.[4] An official autopsy is pending.[4]


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