‘A champion for justice and fairness’: Political activist Felicia Kahn dies at 91

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NEW ORLEANS — City leaders and community activists are mourning the loss of a tireless advocate.

Felicia Kahn died Thursday at the age of 91.

According to a news release from Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office, Kahn, who was active to the end, attended every Democratic National Convention except one since 1976, often serving as a delegate or alternate.

“We are heartbroken over the loss of Felicia Kahn. She has been an icon and an institution for generations, and was an inspiration for me as a champion of equal rights and women’s rights,” Mayor Cantrell said. “Her legacy is hard to overstate. I am grateful to have known her, and to have benefited from her relentless efforts on behalf of the women of this country.”

Kahn was a champion for all people but fought especially hard for the rights of women, according to City Hall.

Born less than 10 years after women were given the right to vote, she graduated from Newcomb College in 1948. She later spent several years as the leader of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters before getting more actively involved in politics. She helped revive the Independent Women’s Organization in 2010, becoming its president at the age of 84.

Her son, Chip Kahn, said his mother was the second-oldest delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Along the way, she helped generations of women in politics at every level, from the U.S. Senate and the New Orleans City Council to the Orleans Parish School Board.

She also was heavily involved in Cantrell’s election and appeared in a commercial on Cantrell’s behalf.

To the end, she was an enduring and vocal presence in the public eye, especially on Twitter. Kahn would have turned 92 on July 11.

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