Judge Jean Murrell Capers, Cleveland's first African American councilwoman, dead at 104

Judge Jean Murrell Capers, Cleveland's first African American councilwoman, dead at 104

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Judge Jean Murrell Capers, the first African American woman elected to Cleveland's City Council, died Tuesday. She was 104.

"Cleveland lost a hero today," said Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Capers went on to serve as a Cleveland Municipal Court judge after her time as councilwoman.

"As the first African-American woman elected to the Cleveland City Council, Judge Capers was a pioneer and a leader in the community, leaving a lasting legacy," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) described Capers as a judge, community activist, sorority sister, mentor, and friend.

"Judge Capers was a role model for women. From her days as a competitive tennis player and health and physical education teacher, to her advocacy in the courtroom and time on the bench, Judge Capers never gave up and never gave in. She was a tireless worker and our champion, fighting to defend the rights of all people," said Fudge.

Capers received her law degree in 1945 from what is now known as Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, according to Think magazine.

Hon. John J. Russo, Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, said, on behalf of of the court, "we are honored to have been her colleagues."

"She was a pioneer and an inspiration, and Judge Capers will truly be missed," he said.

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