HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The first black woman mayor of a major New England city died last November, but news of her death is just being reported.

The Hartford Courant reports Carrie Saxon Perry, 87, died after suffering from a heart attack at Waterbury Hospital on Nov. 22, 2018.

Many people close with her had no idea she died or that it was nearly a year ago. There's no explanation for the secrecy, but her family hasn't spoken about it and an obituary wasn't published.

Perry was elected in 1987 and served for three terms as mayor, following in the footsteps of the city's first black mayor.

She was credited with reducing racial tensions and preventing riots when she visited black neighborhoods during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

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