Her name is synonymous with the growth of Sioux Falls.

Sylvia Henkin was known as the “Grande Dame” of Sioux Falls, helping to put the city on the map.

She and her husband Mort were pioneers in the communications industry. The Henkin Family started KSOO Radio in 1926 and KSOO-TV in 1960. 

In 1974, Sylvia took over both the radio and television stations.

Later on, she was appointed president of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and served as Chairman and member of the Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

But, perhaps her greatest gift to Sioux Falls is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To this day it attracts tens of thousands of people every year to downtown.

Henkin said her goal was to make everyone feel like they were Irish for one day.

Henkin also earned her private pilot’s license in 1940 and became a member of the civil air patrol. She was the only woman in the class. 

She died in 2018 at the age of 96.