New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver dies after hospitalization for for unspecified ‘medical care’
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver has passed away after she was hospitalized this week for an undisclosed medical issue, her family announced in a statement Tuesday.
“It is with incredible sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Lieutenant Governor of the State of New Jersey,” her family said in the statement. “She was not only a distinguished public servant but also our cherished daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and hero.”
“As we come to terms with this profound loss, we kindly request that you respect the privacy of the Oliver family during this difficult time as they grieve their beloved Sheila,” her family said.
“Sheila Y. Oliver leaves behind a legacy of dedication, service, and inspiration,” they said. “We will remember her commitment to the people of New Jersey and her tireless efforts to uplift the community.”
Oliver, 71, was acting as governor while New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is on vacation this week in Italy.
But Oliver was hospitalized this week for unspecified “medical care,” Mahen Gunaratna, Murphy’s communications director, said in a statement Monday. Senate President Nicholas Scutari, a Democrat, stepped in as acting governor as mandated under state Constitution.
Oliver and Murphy won re-election to second terms in 2021. She previously served as Assembly speaker for four years beginning in 2010, and became the first Black woman in state history to hold that position.
Murphy paid tribute to Oliver in a statement Tuesday, saying he and his family are “incredibly saddened and distraught to learn of the passing of our dear friend, colleague, and partner in government.”