The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Helen Marshall

Share on Social Media

Information about The Honorable Helen Marshall

Profile image of The Honorable Helen Marshall

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Borough President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Sag Harbor in Long Island, New York
Favorite Quote:
If You See Queens, You See The World.$Put Your Eye On The Star And Keep It There And Keep On Rising.

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1929
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Borough President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Sag Harbor in Long Island, New York
Favorite Quote:
If You See Queens, You See The World.$Put Your Eye On The Star And Keep It There And Keep On Rising.

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1929
Birth Location:
New York
See how The Honorable Helen Marshall is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

New York City’s Queens Borough chief executive Helen Marie Marshall was born on September 30, 1929, on Manhattan Island in New York City. Marshall was a product of the New York Public School system; after earning her high school diploma, she went on to graduate with her B.A. degree in education from Queens College. Marshall later took graduate level courses in education and public administration at Bank Street College and Long Island University.

Marshall began her professional career as an early childhood educator; she decided to leave the teaching profession in 1969 to help found and become the first director of the Langston Hughes Library in New York City. Marshall held this position for five years, simultaneously acting as director of the Elmcor Testing and Placement Program. In 1974, Marshall became involved in politics when she ran for and was elected to the position of Democratic District leader in New York City. One year later, Marshall became a Democratic National Committeewoman, and in 1982, was elected to the first of five terms she would serve in the New York State Assembly. In 1991, Marshall was elected to the New York City Council, where she represented the 21st District. As a city councilwoman, Marshall served as chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee; co-chaired the Council’s Black and Latino Caucus; and was a member of the Housing and Buildings, Environmental Protection, and Women’s Issues Committees. In November of 2001, Marshall was elected the Queens Borough’s first African American president.

During Marshall’s political career, she was an advocate for quality health care, senior citizens, and the environment. Marshall worked to provide funding to upgrade every library under her jurisdiction, and helped open two new senior centers in her district. LaGuardia Community College honored Marshall with the school’s annual Crystal Globe Award for Excellence and Leadership in education.

Marshall and her husband, Donald Marshall, raised two children: Donald, Jr. and Agnes Marie.

Marshall passed away on March 4, 2017 at the age of 87.

See how The Honorable Helen Marshall is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Helen Marshall's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Helen Marshall lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her birth mother's family history, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her birth mother's family history, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her stepmother's upbringing, education, and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her father's family history and her father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her birth mother's passing from tuberculosis
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes how her father met her stepmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes the working conditions of sweatshops in the 1920s and 1930s in New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Helen Marshall details her paternal family history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her father's involvement with the Works Progress Administration in the 1920s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her father's affiliation to Garveyism and her recollections of moving from Manhattan to the Bronx during the 1920s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Helen Marshall continues to describe her recollections of moving to the Bronx during the 1920s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Harlem and the Bronx, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Harlem and the Bronx, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Helen Marshall describes her childhood personality and her stepmother's home remedies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Helen Marshall talks about her stepmother Artemesor Hasty Sargent leaving their family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Helen Marshall talks about her grade school years at P.S. 042 Claremont in the Bronx, New York during the 1930s, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Helen Marshall talks about her grade school years at P.S. 042 Claremont in the Bronx, New York during the 1930s, pt. 2