A groundbreaking black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to
serve as a U.S. judge was found dead in New York's Hudson River on
Wednesday, police said.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old associate judge of New York's
highest court, was found floating off Manhattan's west side at about 1:45
p.m. EDT (1545 GMT), a police spokesman said.

Police pulled Abdus-Salaam's fully clothed body from the water and she
was pronounced dead at the scene. Her family identified her and an
autopsy would determine the cause of death, the spokesman said.
Abdus-Salaam, a native of Washington, D.C., became the first
African-American woman appointed to the Court of Appeals when
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo named her to the state's high court
in 2013.

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"Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public
service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all,"
Cuomo said in a statement.
The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History said
Abdus-Salaam was the first female Muslim to serve as a U.S. judge.

Citing unidentified sources, the New York Post reported that
Abdus-Salaam had been reported missing from her New York home earlier
on Wednesday. Attempts to reach her family were unsuccessful.
A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School, Abdus-Salaam
started her law career with East Brooklyn Legal Services and served as a
New York state assistant attorney general, according to the Court of
Appeals website.

She held a series of judicial posts after being elected to a New York City
judgeship in 1991.
United States' first
female Muslim judge
found dead in
Hudson River