She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Flushing Quinn-Fogerty Funeral Home on August 18.
Active in civic life, Harrison began her political career in 1972 when she was elected district leader. She would run unsuccessfully for the State Senate in 1978, but would taste victory just five year later when she was elected to the state Assembly.
Three years later she was elected to the City Council, the first woman to hold that post in the 19th Council District. She left that post in 2001, when term limits forced her out of office.
Over the next few years she would mount failed runs at State Senate and Assembly seats.
Harrison will be remembered as an outspoken representative. She considered herself a maverick and often bucked party leadership.
Her strong views and unfiltered speech did get her into hot water more than a few times, however, most notably in1996 when a New York Times article quoted her as saying that the influx of Asian immigrants in her Flushing district was “an invasion, not an assimilation.”
She later apologized for the comments, but they would resurface again in subsequent runs for office. Years later, she told a media outlet that the comments were taken out of context by a reporter who had an agenda.
In 2011, Harrison was elected to her former district leader post at the age of 97.