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California Political Trailblazer March Fong Eu Dies At 95

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File

In this Nov. 28, 2000, file photo, March Fong Eu, former California Secretary of State, is seated among some of her paintings at California State University in Sacramento, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File

(AP) - March Fong Eu, California's first female secretary of state and former ambassador to Micronesia, died Thursday at the age of 95.

Longtime spokeswoman Caren Lagomarsino said that Eu died in Irvine, California, from complications following a fall and subsequent surgery.

Eu was a trailblazer for women and Chinese Americans. She served in the state Assembly before becoming California's chief elections officer in 1975. She held that position until 1994 when President Bill Clinton named her ambassador to the Pacific nation of Micronesia.

Eu ushered in voter registration by mail and campaigned successfully to ban pay toilets in public buildings, saying that urinals were free.

She was born March 29, 1922 to Yuen Kong and Shiu Shee in the central California town of Oakdale. Her parents ran a hand laundry.

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