NEW YORK (AP) Judith Kaye, the first woman appointed to New York's top court and later its chief judge, has died. She was 77.
Her death Wednesday night was confirmed Thursday by the state court system. Kaye lived in Manhattan. The cause of her death wasn't initially available.
First appointed to the bench in 1983, Kaye was named chief judge of the Court of Appeals by Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1993. Her predecessor, Sol Wachtler, resigned amid federal charges he threatened a former lover and her daughter.
Kaye was chief judge until 2008.
State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says Kaye was ``a towering figure in New York State.'' She cited Kaye's work on a range of issues, including juvenile justice, rights for gay couples, capital punishment, domestic violence, chemical addiction and mental health.