MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A longtime Nassau County legislator has died after falling and hitting her head at her home.

Judith Jacobs, 77, died Tuesday night at a Manhasset hospital after falling at her Woodbury home, Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, who is not related, told Newsday.

“Judy was at her core a community activist,” Jay Jacobs told the paper. “That’s how she got her start, and that’s what she always was.”

“She fought hard for the issues she believed in,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement. “Judy was a tireless advocate for her constituents often reaching out to me nights and weekends to try to help a resident in need. She truly was an example of all that is good in a public servant.”

Nassau County minority leader Kevan Abrahams told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs residents are in a better place because of Jacobs.

“At times she’s a community activist, at a times she was legislator to the presiding officer,” Abrahams said. “People grew up with her. People have gotten better lives because of her policies that she’s implemented.” 

Judith Jacobs had been an 11-term Democrat representing Woodbury. She served in the county legislature since it was created in 1996 and served as legislative leader through 2008.

“I don’t know how you fill those shoes,” Abrahams said. This legislator is going to be very tough.”

Her daughter said Judith Jacobs had been diagnosed in May with a bone marrow disorder and form of cancer. The family said she had been weakened by anemia and recently her platelet levels had been low.

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