Janet Gray Hayes, San Jose's First Female Mayor, Dies at 87

Hayes remembered as pioneer who declared San Jose "feminist Capitol of the world"

View Comments (


    Janet Gray Hayes

    San Jose is remembering its first female mayor.

    Janet Gray Hayes died Monday at a retirement home in Saratoga. Her family says she suffered a stroke over the weekend.

    Hayes was elected mayor of San Jose in 1974, becoming the first woman in the United States to lead a city of more than 500,000 people.

    “She was a trailblazer who helped open the door for women to serve their communities in public office,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren said in a statement. “She was the one who declared San Jose to be the 'feminist Capitol of the world' when she led San Jose as its Mayor, with a female majority city council and a new female majority on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors."

    All flags at San Jose city facilities were lowered to half-mast on Tuesday in memory of the former mayor.

    Hayes was 87 years old.