Bartow, Florida -- The woman who became Polk County's first African-American judge has passed away.
Judge Karla Wright was a pioneer in the legal community, appointed judge in 2000 by then-governor Jeb Bush.
Wright graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1983. She was later appointed to the position of Circuit Judge in 2005 and served in the court's felony division since January 2006.
Wright served the community by serving on several legal boards including Chairman of the DUI Committee, and Circuit Representative for the National Conference on Diversity in the Court System.
The 63-year-old, who lived in Bartow, had been ill recently and had taken some time away from the bench.