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Former Seattle councilwoman Chow dies at 66

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A former Seattle city councilwoman who announced last summer that she was gay and said she wanted to encourage others to tell their loved ones the truth has died at age 66.

Cheryl Chow was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. She described her coming out as her "last crusade."

The Seattle Times reports that Chow died Friday at home. She married her partner of 10 years, Sarah Morningstar, earlier this month. Morningstar confirmed the death, as did a brother, Brien Chow.

“In her final role as a public advocate Cheryl’s coming out made her a hero to many who never knew her work as a councilmember,” said the Seattle City Council in a written statement Friday. “Cheryl’s work as an advocate and her positive, competitive presence will be missed.”

She was a principal, girls' basketball coach and instructor of the Seattle Chinese Girls Drill Team. In her two terms on the city council, Chow helped create outreach programs for kids involved in Asian street gangs.

Chow was the only daughter of longtime King County Council member Ruby Chow.

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