Liz Hair, first woman to lead Meck Co. Commission, dies

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The woman once known as the most powerful woman in Charlotte has died.

Channel 9 learned Liz Hair died Wednesday at her home in Myers Park.

She was the first woman to lead the Mecklenburg County Commission and also helped create the Charlotte Women's Political Caucus and the Mecklenburg County Democratic Women's Club.

The Mecklenburg County Commssion released the following statement on the news of her death:

Our hearts are heavy today upon learning the news of the death of former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Hair, a pioneer of a public servant.  At a time when women were not supposed to be in public office, Liz blazed a trail.  In 1972, she was elected to the county commission, and later became the first woman ever to serve as chairman.  Her ardent leadership for democratic principles resulted in programs and policies we take for granted today.  She was a true inspiration to generations of public servants.
 
Liz lived a long, full life.  While we are sad that she has left this realm, we also rejoice in the knowledge that she now will find everlasting peace.  On behalf of the entire Board of County Commissioners, we offer our deepest love and sympathy for the family of Liz Hair.

Mayor Cannon had this to say:

Liz Hair was a true trailblazer in local politics who impacted both women and men, including me. I still remember how supportive she was of my candidacy when I first ran for office at the age of 26, which was truly an honor. Her many firsts in Mecklenburg, as founder of the Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County, first female County Commissioner and first woman to chair the County Commission will forever be a part of this City's rich history. Our community has lost one of the greats, who helped Charlotte become what it is today. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this very sad time.