Helen Milliken, Former Michigan First Lady, Dies At 89

Among Michigan First Ladies, Helen Milliken set the modern standard. Dignified, stylish, and deferential to her husband, former Gov. William Milliken. But also outspoken, passionate and unyielding.

Mrs. Milliken, 89, passed away this morning after a long illness in the Traverse City home where the former first couple lived in retirement.

She had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was receiving hospice care, her son William (Bill) Milliken, Jr. told the Associated Press.

Helen Milliken is perhaps best remembered as Michigan’s leading proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ERA, which would have banned discrimination based on sex and authorized Congress to adopt laws enforcing it, came close to passage (it was approved by Congress and 35 of the needed 38 states, including Michigan).

Source: Detroit Free Press

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