Sheila Abdus-Salaam (née Turner) was born on March 14, 1952, in Washington, D.C. and died on April 12, 2017.
She was an associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals.
Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman to be appointed to a seat on New York’s highest court.
Sheila was raised in a working-class family with six siblings.
Turner attended the public schools there.
When she was researching her family history as a child, she learned that her great-grandfather was a slave in Virginia.
She is a 1974 graduate of Barnard College and a also a 1977 graduate of Columbia Law School, she and future U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were classmates at Columbia.
She took her first husband’s surname, and retained it during her professional career.
Abdus-Salaam’s second husband, James Hatcher, was the son of Andrew Hatcher, who worked as a press officer for John F. Kennedy.
Abdus-Salaam’s third husband, Gregory A. Jacobs, whom she married in June 2016, was an Episcopal priest within the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam passed away at 65 years old.