Helen M. Marshall

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Helen M. Marshall
Helen Marshall.jpg
Marshall in 2010
18th Borough President of Queens
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Claire Shulman
Succeeded by Melinda Katz
Member of the New York City Council from the 21st District
In office
Preceded by Walter McCaffrey
Succeeded by Hiram Monserrate
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 35th district
In office
Preceded by John G. Lopresto
Succeeded by Jeffrion L. Aubry
Personal details
Born (1929-09-30)September 30, 1929
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died March 4, 2017(2017-03-04) (aged 87)
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Donald Marshall
Children Donald Jr. and Agnes Marie
Alma mater Queens College

Helen M. Marshall (September 30, 1929 – March 4, 2017) was an American politician from New York. She was Borough President of Queens from 2002 to 2013. She was also the first African-American Borough President of Queens.[1]


Marshall was born on September 30, 1929,[2] in the Bronx, New York City.[3] Both of her parents were immigrants from British Guiana, which is now known as Guyana, and were of African descent.[4]

She graduated with a B.A. in education from CUNY Queens College. She was a teacher for eight years. In 1969, she left teaching to become the first Director of the Langston Hughes Library in Queens. She was married to Donald Marshall until his death; they had two children, Donald Jr. and Agnes Marie.[5] She entered politics as a Democrat.[6]

She was a member of the New York State Assembly for eight years and a member of the New York City Council for ten.[6]

She was elected as Borough President of Queens in November 2001, to succeed the term-limited Claire Shulman. As Borough President, Marshall made marketing Queens as a tourist destination one of her priorities. In 2005, she won a second term, defeating her Republican/Conservative challenger Philip T. Sica with 75% of the vote to his 25%. She was inaugurated to her second term as President of the Borough of Queens on January 3, 2006 in a ceremony held at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Marshall outlined her plans for the next four years including health care, education, housing and new park projects.[citation needed]

In November 2009, Marshall was re-elected to a third term.

Marshall died on March 4, 2017 at her home in Palm Desert, California, aged 87.[7] A widow, she was survived by her two children.[8]


  1. ^ http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2017/03/4/first-african-american-queens-borough-president-helen-marshall-dies-at-87.html
  2. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (September 4, 2001). "In Queens, a Spirited Race For Its Borough Presidency". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2011. Ms. Marshall, 71, a former teacher... 
  3. ^ Bilefsky, Dan. "In Queens, a Lament That the Borough Is Shortchanged", The New York Times, January 26, 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.newsamericasnow.com/late-guyanese-american-nyc-politician-to-be-remembered/
  5. ^ "Biography of Helen M. Marshall". Office of the Queens Borough President. Archived from the original on February 8, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Mele, Christopher (March 5, 2017). "Helen M. Marshall, First Black Borough President of Queens, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  7. ^ Christopher Mele (March 4, 2017). "Helen M. Marshall, First Black Borough President of Queens, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  8. ^ Former Queens Borough Helen Marshall dead at 87, pix11.com; accessed March 4, 2017.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
John G. Lopresto
New York State Assembly
35th District

Succeeded by
Jeffrion L. Aubry
New York City Council
Preceded by
Walter McCaffrey
New York City Council
21st District

Succeeded by
Hiram Monserrate
Political offices
Preceded by
Claire Shulman
Borough President of Queens
Succeeded by
Melinda Katz