Women's rights leader and hall of famer Karen DeCrow dies at 76

Karen DeCrow

A pioneering attorney and women's rights advocate who made her home in Central New York has passed away at the age of 76.

Karen DeCrow served two terms as the national president of the National Organization of Women during the 1970s. It was a period where NOW was pushing for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

DeCrow was the only woman in her graduating class of the Syracuse University College of Law in 1972. She ran for mayor of Syracuse in 1969, the first woman to run for the city's highest office.

She spent her life as a national figure who was an author and legal expert on gender issues. In 1974, Time magazine named her one of the "Top 200 Future Leaders of America".

Mayor Stephanie A. Miner released the following statement today upon being notified of the death of Ms. DeCrow:

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of Karen DeCrow earlier today. Her loss will rest heavy on the hearts of many Syracusans. Karen was a treasure to our community and will be dearly missed. She leaves behind an unrivaled legacy of advocacy and leadership which we can all look to as inspiration in our daily lives. Never did Karen think why something couldn't be done, she stood up and was the change she sought to bring to our community. From leading our local chapter of the National Organization for Women, she rose up to be the national president of the organization. In 1969, she even ran for Mayor of Syracuse-the first woman ever to do so. Now as I sit in that chair, I have an even deeper respect for the grit and determination she applied to her everyday life. Her perseverance, dedication, and strong work ethic made a major difference in our community and across the country and I encourage everyone to look to her as an example of how small steps can lead to big change."

Click here to read Karen DeCrow's page on the National Women's Hall of Fame website.