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Hickey, Liliam Lujan, 1932-


Liliam Lujan Hickey is best known for being the first Hispanic woman elected to the Nevada State Board of Education as well as for the contributions she made while serving from 1998 to 2000. An elementary school in Clark County is named for her. She was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1932. Her husband owned many casinos on the island, and when Castro assumed power, Liliam and her family were forced to flee to Miami. From there they moved to York, Pennsylvania, where he hoped to find work. That didn't work out, so they moved to San Diego. After a few years, Enrique found a job in Las Vegas, and they moved again. Her husband died in 1972, and she found herself a widow at age forty with four children. A friend introduced her to Tom Hickey, and they married in 1981. Within a few years, she ran for the State Board of Education. Liliam co-founded the Classroom on Wheels program that brought buses to poor neighborhoods to provide pre-school education, and she established Career Day. She worked in a wide array of community organizations including Circulo Cubano, which later became the Latin Chamber of Commerce, and the League of Woman Voters. Liliam saw the need to get Hispanics more involved in politics in Nevada.