Eileen Anderson, pioneering public servant and only woman to serve as Honolulu’s mayor, dies at 93

Your top local headlines for Nov. 30, 2021.
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 8:50 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:09 AM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Eileen Anderson, Honolulu’s first and only female mayor, has died at 93, city officials confirmed on Tuesday.

According to a city press release, Anderson died Nov. 3.

Anderson served as Honolulu mayor from 1981 to 1985, beating incumbent Frank Fasi.

“She defeated one of the most powerful and influential people in the history of Honolulu politics to become the first female mayor of the City and County of Honolulu,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, in a statement.

“She is a terrific role model for all young girls, and for all the scrappy underdogs who dream of great things.”

Anderson also served as the first director of the state Department of Budget and Finance under Gov. George Ariyoshi.

She and her husband, Clifford, were both active in community service, including with the Boy and Girl Scouts and Aloha United Way.

“Our parents spent their careers in public and community service,” said daughter Patricia Anderson, in a statement. “We knew well of their love and dedication to the people of Hawaii.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all city facilities Wednesday in Anderson’s honor.

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