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NEW YORK — Estella Diggs, the first African American woman to be elected to the New York State Assembly from the Bronx, has died. She was 97.

Lawrence Diggs says his mother died Thursday in a Bronx hospital after a long illness.

Diggs was first elected to the Assembly in 1972 and served four terms in Albany representing the Morrisania section of the Bronx.

She helped write more than 70 bills and was responsible for the first Women’s, Infants, and Children’s program in the state and the first sobering-up station in the Bronx

After she retired, she continued to work as a community volunteer for many years.

In 2011, the Estella Diggs Park in Morrisania was named in her honor.

Diggs says her mother remained devoted to her community all her life.

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