Yvonne B. Miller, the first African-American woman elected to Virginia's state legislature, has died. She was 78.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Don McEachin said Miller, a career educator and an outspoken advocate for Virginia's poor and minorities in the General Assembly, died at her Norfolk home.
Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement:
“Maureen and I are deeply saddened to learn of the news of the passing of State Senator Yvonne Miller. Yvonne was a history-maker and a trail blazer. She was the first African-American woman elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and the first African-American woman elected to the Virginia State Senate. She was the first woman to chair a Senate Committee, and she was the longest-serving woman in the history of the Virginia State Senate. She was passionate about education, and she loved her alma mater, Norfolk State University. Yvonne Miller cared deeply about people, and she was a strong voice always ready to passionately advocate for the disadvantaged, the forgotten and the overlooked. Yvonne made history when she was elected to the General Assembly. But she made the biggest difference in what she did once she got there. We will all miss Senator Yvonne Miller and her passionate service to the people of Virginia. She was a wonderful human being and a great American. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends in this difficult hour.”