Hartford celebrates life of former Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, the capitol’s first female African-American mayor

Black History Month

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A memorial service was held in honor of a trailblazing Hartford leader Wednesday evening.

RELATED: Death of former Mayor of Hartford not reported until year after she died

Former Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry famously served as Hartford‘s first female African-American mayor. Hundreds gathered in her memory Wednesday.

She served the capitol city in the late 80s-early 90s, fighting for equality, bridging the gap between communities and making the city she loved a more welcoming and inclusive city for everyone.

She was known as a leader ahead of her time, and meant so much to so many in Hartford.

“The first black woman to be elected to the city of Hartford, the first in the state of Connecticut, and the first in a major city in the northeast.”

– CT State Treasurer, Shawn Wooden

Former and current state and city leaders, community members, and those who knew and loved her best filled the room to honor an outspoken leader.

“She was a compassionate person and cared about the underdog. She was ahead of her time in many areas of life.

Carrie was a keen intellect. She read ferociously and she never feared to interact with people of all persuasions.”

– Benjamin Foster/ Lifelong friend of Mayor Perry

A mother, grandmother, public servant, and friend to many.

Current Hartford mayor, Luke Bronin, like many, honored the legacy that remains etched in the hearts of those Perry touched while she served.

“She was a ground-breaking leader. She was someone who overcame barriers and set an example for so many but it wasn’t just the titles she achieved, it was the spirit that motivated her work.

Her legacy is number one standing up loudly and fighting for those most in need. Also talking and working constantly to advance the idea that we are all in this together.

It’s about recognizing the fact that a giant emerged from this community. Lived in service to this community. She will forever be remembered by this community.”

– Luke Bronin/ Mayor of Hartford (D)

Perry died of a heart attack in November of 2018, but her death went unreported until a year later. Perry leaved behind one son and four grandchildren. She was 87 years old.

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