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First African American woman elected to Greensboro City Council, Dr. Katie Dorsett, dies

Dorsett enjoyed a long list of professional accomplishments before her passing.
Credit: City of Greensboro
The first African American woman to be elected to the Greensboro City Council, Dr. Katie Dorsett, died just before her 88th birthday.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The first African American woman to be elected to the Greensboro City Council has died. Dr. Katie Dorsett was 87.

According to a post on the city of Greensboro’s Facebook page, Dorsett served two terms on its council from 1983 to 1986.

She was a former Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly, representing the state’s 28th Senate district from 2003 to 2010, which included Guilford County. In the 2009-2010 session, Dorsett served as the Majority Whip in the Senate, the post said.

Dorsett was born in Shaw, Mississippi. She earned her undergraduate degree at Alcorn State University, then went on to get her master’s from Indiana University. After attending several schools in pursuit of her doctorate, she finished at UNCG in 1975, the post said. Dorsett taught business at North Carolina State A&T University from 1955 until 1987.

After serving on the Greensboro City Council, she served as a Democratic Guilford County Commissioner beginning in 1990. Dorsett represented District 9 until 1992, when she was appointed Secretary of the Department of Administration by North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, according to the city of Greensboro. That made her the first African American woman to hold a North Carolina Cabinet post. She was elected to the state Senate in 2002. Dorsett was inducted into the North Carolina Women's Hall of Fame in 2010 and was one of the first women to be celebrated at the Ruth Wicker Tribute to Women at Barber Park, the city said.

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