Mary Ann McMorrow, first woman on Illinois Supreme Court, dies

February 24, 2013 2:26:30 PM PST
A groundbreaking former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court has died.

Justice Mary Ann McMorrow was the first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court and the first woman to serve as chief justice.

As such, she was the first woman to head a branch of Illinois government. She retired in 2006.

Justice McMorrow passed away Saturday after a brief illness.

"We will fondly remember Justice McMorrow and always cherish the privilege of having worked with her," said current Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride in a statement. "Being the first woman on the Court and to serve as Chief Justice, she was an inspiration to all women in the law in Illinois. But through her courage, perseverance, wisdom, and character, she was a role model for all lawyers, regardless of gender. Her legacy looms large over the Illinois legal system. We will all miss her grace, elegance and style. Most of all, we shall miss her."

McMorrow was 83 years old.