Longtime Fulton Commissioner Emma Darnell dies

Fulton County District 6 Commissioner Emma Darnell died at her Atlanta home on Sunday

A longtime member of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Darnell served on the board since 1992. She was currently in her eighth term as a commissioner.

A former college professor, Darnell graduated from Fisk University and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University's Teachers College  and a Juris Doctor degree from the Howard University School of Law.

Darnell was the first author of a minority business plan for the City of Atlanta in the 1970's, a press release from Fulton County said. 

Officials described her as "a fierce advocate for senior citizens."

In a statement, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called Darnell a "fierce advocate" whose "passion and concern for our communities will be greatly missed."

"She cultivated her leadership during a time when both her race and gender could have been a hindrance. But Commissioner Darnell challenged the status quo with a fierce determination to achieve equality for the people of Atlanta and Fulton County," Bottoms said. "Derek and I are thankful for the personal encouragement she has given us for many years and on behalf of the people of Atlanta, we are forever grateful for her courageous leadership.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced once they are finalized.