Dorothy Cox became an institution in San Francisco’s City Hall. And her path to City Hall lore started in the 1950s, where she overcame barriers of both sex and race.

Her tenure began with George Moscone and continued through Willie Brown’s term. It was during an era of de facto segregation, but she would become an economic development specialist in the city. That was in 1976. When she retired in 2000, Mayor Willie Brown described her as an exemplary citizen and the “embodiment of the city that knows how” and declared the day “Doris Cox Day”.

She died March 25 in her Richmond home, where she had lived for 54 years. She was a lifelong Bay Area resident.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Even in San Francisco, being black wasn’t easy when Dorothy Cox started to raise a family in the 1950s, with housing discrimination and de facto segregation still a part of life.

That didn’t stop Ms. Cox.

She worked her way from a bank clerk job to a legal secretary’s desk and ultimately into City Hall, where she worked in community development under five San Francisco mayors, from George Moscone to Willie Brown.

Read the full article here.