Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana’s first female governor, dies at 75

Kathleen Blanco | CC

Kathleen Blanco, former governor of Louisiana who oversaw the massive evacuation and subsequent rescue effort of New Orleans citizens due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has died at the age of 75.

Blanco died at 2:54 p.m. on Sunday, August 18, according to WBRZ in Baton Rouge. Her death was announced by a family spokesperson, the news station reported.

Blanco reportedly had been diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2011 and was in hospice for weeks before she died.

Serving from 2004 to 2008, Blanco was Louisiana’s first female governor. Blanco served as lieutenant governor before for eight years before she was elected. She was a member of the Democratic Party.

In a statement posted to Twitter, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Blanco was “a woman whose leadership was an inspiration and a strength for the people of New Orleans and for all of Louisiana.”