Elizabeth Connelly

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Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Connelly (June 19, 1928 – May 25, 2006) was a politician from Staten Island, New York who represented the North Shore of that community from 1973 to 2000. She was the first woman to win elective office to any district encompassing Staten Island.

Life and career[edit]

She was born Elizabeth Ann Keresey on June 19, 1928, in Brooklyn, New York City. She grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx. She and her husband, Robert V. Connelly, moved to Staten Island in 1954 and raised a family of four children. She worked as a secretary for the New York Life Insurance Company, and as a telephone sales associate for Pan American World Airways.[1]

She entered politics as a Democrat, and was elected in November 1973 to the New York State Assembly, to fill the vacancy caused by the appointment of Edward J. Amann, Jr. to the New York Court of Claims. Connelly was re-elected several times and remained in the Assembly until 2000, sitting in the 180th, 181st, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 185th, 186th, 187th, 188th, 189th, 190th, 191st, 192nd and 193rd New York State Legislatures. An advocate for the mentally disabled, Connelly was appointed chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Developmental Disabilities, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in 1977.[1]

Betty Connelly died on May 25, 2006, at her home in Westerleigh, Staten Island.[1]

Staten Island University Hospital opened the Elizabeth A. Connelly Emergency and Trauma Center in 2009. Connelly had been a volunteer at the hospital prior to her election in 1973.[2] A community center, named for her was also opened around the same time. The NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities holds the Elizabeth A. Connelly Memorial Conference on Autism & Related Conditions annually.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Elizabeth A. Connelly, 77, Longtime Assemblywoman, Is Dead by Dennis Hevesi, in the New York Times on May 26, 2006
  2. ^ Staten Island University Hospital opens the Elizabeth A. Connelly Emergency and Trauma Center, healthcarefinancenews.com; accessed October 17, 2014.
  3. ^ "Elizabeth A. Connelly Memorial Conference". New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Edward J. Amann, Jr.
New York State Assembly
61st District

Succeeded by
William F. Passannante
Preceded by
Joseph R. Lentol
New York State Assembly
58th District

Succeeded by
N. Nick Perry
Preceded by
Eric Nicholas Vitaliano
New York State Assembly
59th District

Succeeded by
John W. Lavelle