Barbara Hillary, 1st black woman at North, South Poles, dies

Barbara Hillary, 1st black woman at North, South Poles, dies
FILE - In this May 3, 2007 file photo Barbara Hillary, 75, shows the parka she wore on her trip to the North Pole, as she is interviewed in New York. Hillary, who was in her 70s when she became the first black woman to officially make it to the North and South Poles, has died at 88. Her death was announced on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 on her Twitter account, which said she had gone through “significant health decline in recent months.” It was also announced on her website. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Hillary, who was in her 70s when she became the first black woman to officially make it to the North and South Poles, has died at 88.

Her death was announced Saturday on her Twitter account, which said she had gone through “significant health decline in recent months.” It was also announced on her website.

Hillary reached the North Pole in 2007 at the age of 75, and the South Pole in 2011 at age 79.

She had retired from a nursing career and survived separate occurrences of breast and lung cancer when she started traveling in the Arctic.

She took on the challenge of making it to the Poles after learning no black woman was on record as having done so.

Afterward, she became a public speaker.

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