Paul Feinman, the first openly gay man to serve on New York's highest court, has died, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced Wednesday.

Feinman, an associate judge nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had stepped down earlier this month, citing health problems at the time.

Feinman had served on the Court of Appeals since his Senate confirmation in June 2017. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985, he began his career as a staff lawyer at the Legal Aid Society.

"Judge Feinman served with excellence at every level of our judiciary," DiFiore said, "and his broad experience, knowledge and wisdom earned him the respect and warm personal regard of his judicial colleagues."