Friends and family are mourning the death of a local journalist and radio host.
Fatimah Ali died in her sleep in her North Philadelphia home on Monday, according to the Daily News. She was 56-years-old. The cause of her death is unknown at this time.
Ali, born Susan Hughes, grew up in West Mount Airy and graduated from Germantown Friends School. She then attended Wesleyan University where she majored in English and History.
Known throughout her career as an advocate for social justice, Ali worked for several radio stations, including 1010 WINS in New York and WURD 900 AM in Philadelphia.
Back in 2006, she sent a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, expressing her concerns about the condition of the Robin Hood Dell, where the paper reports she worked as a child. The Daily News was so impressed with her writing that they hired her as a columnist, a position that she held until 2011.
At WURD, Ali hosted the daily radio show “The Real Deal With Fatimah Ali.” WURD released the following statement after Ali’s death:
She was dedicated to our people and to social justice and our progress. She was a strong voice for children and education, for those brothers who were incarcerated, for the children and women’s rights.
Ali was married to state Senator Vincent Hughes as well as television journalist A. Brahin Ahmaddiya who died in 2000. Her most recent partner was Natu Ali.
“She lived her life on her own terms,” said Senator Hughes to the Daily News. “She was very thoughtful, very insightful, very intelligent and very committed to social change.”
Ali is survived by four daughters, one son, two sisters and two grandchildren. No word yet on funeral arrangements.