Statement from AG Jennings on loss of former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner

Today we lost one of the most remarkable women our State has ever known: former Governor Ruth Ann Minner.

By the time Ruth Ann Minner broke her second glass ceiling as Governor — she was also our first female Lt. Governor — she had already recorded decades of public service. From the House of Representatives to Woodburn, Ruth Ann witnessed, and in many cases championed, some of our state’s most significant policy advancements. Landmark policies that we take for granted today — including one of the nation’s first indoor smoking bans, full-day kindergarten, and the SEED Scholarship, which has helped more than 13,000 Delaware students access a college education — are there because of her work.

Ruth Ann’s work impacted all of our lives for the better, but above all else I will remember this incredible woman for her strength and her dogged perseverance. It’s difficult for anyone to get by — let alone to get ahead — without independent wealth, an extensive family support network, or an elite education. Ruth Ann succeeded even though she lacked those privileges. She was the daughter of a sharecropper. She left high school at 16 to help support the family farm. At 32 she became a widowed mother of three children; by the time she turned 40, she had earned her GED, become a small business owner, and gone from a receptionist’s desk to a seat in the House of Representatives.

The fact that Ruth Ann not only overcame these challenges, but excelled and made history is a testament to her willpower and her defiance in the face of adversity. Each of us should find inspiration in her story, and I’ll forever be grateful for everything she did for our state. Her family, her former team, and her community are all in my heart.