Former Honolulu Mayor Eileen R. Anderson Passes Away at 93

Former Honolulu Mayor Eileen R. Anderson. PC: City & County of Honolulu

Former Honolulu Mayor Eileen R. Anderson passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 at the age of 93, according to information confirmed by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

Anderson served as mayor of the City and County of Honolulu from 1981 to 1985. She was the first woman to ever hold the office of Mayor in the City and County of Honolulu.

“The City and County of Honolulu mourns the loss of former Mayor Eileen Anderson,” said Mayor Blangiardi. “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. She is a terrific role model for all young girls, and for all the scrappy underdogs who dream of great things. Her contributions to the City will live on in perpetuity.”

Anderson had a long history of public service, having served as the State of Hawaiʻi’s first Director of the Department of Budget and Finance under Governor George Ariyoshi. In 1980, she defeated incumbent mayor Frank Fasi with 70% of the vote. That year, Anderson was named Hawaiʻi Business Magazine “Woman of the Year.”

Anderson and her husband Clifford were active in community service including both Boy and Girl Scouts, Aloha United Way, Liliʻuokalani Trust, Calvary Episcopal Church and Kaneʻohe Little League where Clifford served as League President between 1960-1963.

“Ours parents spent their careers in public and community service.  We knew well of their love and dedication to the people of Hawaiʻi,” said Eileen Anderson’s daughter, Patricia Anderson. “With the job of leading the City and County of Honolulu, came the responsibility of making difficult decisions that wouldn’t please everyone.  All decisions whether in transportation, tourism, land, or business & industry, would have long term fiscal impacts that ultimately filtered down to the ‘ohana and ʻāina of O‘ahu.  Eileen Anderson took this responsibility very seriously. We are proud of her accomplishments and the legacy she leaves behind.”

In honor and memory of Mayor Eileen Anderson, Mayor Blangiardi has ordered the flags be flown at half-staff at all City facilities tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 1.

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