Ann Shaw trailblazing civic leader passes
Ann Shaw was the widow of the late Leslie N. Shaw, Sr., the first Black postmaster of Los Angeles
Ann Shaw, a petite powerhouse who accumulated an impressive series of “firsts” as an African American woman, passed away on May 5. She was 93 years old
Known as a “quiet pioneer for women and minorities,” Shaw achieved a number of milestones during her 50 years of civic involvement. Her accomplishments include the first woman appointed to California Commission on Judicial Performance, first African American president of Los Angeles’ YWCA, and first female president of the Board of Founders Saving and Loan.
In addition, she was the first African-American member to serve on the boards of the University of Redlands Trustees, Lloyds Bank of California Trustees, the Boys and Girls Club of Southern California, UCLA Medical School Board of Visitors, and Loyola Law School Board of Visitors.
Her deeds and successes led to a number of awards and honors including the United Way’s Gold Key Award, NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Black Woman of Achievement Award, and was named “Woman of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Sentinel and the California State Legislature.
Shaw was also recognized by the religious denominations for her community efforts. A devout Episcopalian, she was saluted by the African Methodist Episcopal Church with the Outstanding Civic Worker and Citizen Award, and the San Fernando Valley Jewish Community Center planted trees in her honor in the John F. Kennedy Peace Forest in Israel.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Shaw was a graduate of Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of Redlands, an M.A. degree from Ohio State University, and a M.S.W. from the University of Southern California. The University of Redlands also awarded her an honorary doctorate degree.
Shaw was the widow of the late Leslie N. Shaw, Sr., the first Black postmaster of Los Angeles. Her son, Leslie Jr., preceded her in death. Survivors are her children, Dan (Karen), Rebecca (James) and Valerie; grandchildren, P.D. IV (Robin), Kofi, Aliya, Semaje, Kyrra and Asha; and great-grandchild, Daniel.
Her service will be held Thursday, May 14, at 10 a.m., at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., in Los Angeles. The Rev. Vanessa MacKenzie will officiate the Episcopalian service.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the Les Shaw Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o California Community Foundation, 221 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 orcalfund.org.
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