Sheila Oliver, NJ Lieutenant Governor, Passes Away at 71

Sheila Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, Passes Away at 71

Date: August 2, 2023

Location: Trenton, New Jersey

In a sad turn of events, New Jersey mourns the loss of Sheila Oliver, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, who passed away at the age of 71. The news of her demise has sent shockwaves throughout the state, as she was known for her dedicated public service and commitment to improving the lives of New Jersey residents.

Sheila Oliver’s political career spanned several decades, during which she broke barriers and achieved numerous milestones. Born on July 14, 1952, in Newark, New Jersey, she displayed an early interest in politics and public service. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University, she pursued a master’s degree in planning and public administration from Columbia University.

Her political journey began as a member of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders in the late 1990s, where she quickly gained recognition for her leadership and advocacy for social justice issues. Oliver’s passion for helping others and her tireless efforts to address the concerns of the underserved communities soon caught the attention of the state’s political leaders.



In 2004, Sheila Oliver was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the 34th Legislative District. Her tenure in the Assembly was marked by a steadfast commitment to education, affordable housing, and economic development. As the first African-American woman to be appointed as Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly in 2010, she shattered yet another glass ceiling and became a role model for aspiring politicians.

Her remarkable achievements did not end there. In 2017, Sheila Oliver secured a historic victory by becoming the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, alongside Governor Phil Murphy. Her role as Lieutenant Governor allowed her to play a pivotal part in shaping policies and initiatives to benefit the people of New Jersey. During her time in office, Oliver championed causes such as healthcare accessibility, criminal justice reform, and economic equity.

The news of her passing has elicited an outpouring of grief and condolences from political leaders across the country. Governor Phil Murphy described her as a “trailblazer” and praised her unwavering dedication to serving the people of New Jersey.

“Sheila Oliver’s indomitable spirit, intelligence, and compassion have left an indelible mark on our state. She was a true advocate for the people and worked tirelessly to create a fair and just society for all,” Governor Murphy said in a statement.

As the state mourns her loss, flags across New Jersey will fly at half-mast to honor the memory of this exceptional public servant. Plans for a memorial service to celebrate her life and legacy are currently being organized.

Sheila Oliver’s passing leaves a void in the political landscape of New Jersey, but her legacy as a trailblazer and a fighter for social justice will continue to inspire generations to come. Her commitment to making a positive impact on her constituents’ lives will be remembered and cherished by the people she served.


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