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Cora Pleasant Maloney

She was born in Kansas City, MO. She was accomplished in the area of Politics. She later died on 8-16-1961.
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Cora P. Maloney was born in Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1905. Her parents were Robert and Gertrude Pleasant. Her parents were life-long residents of Missouri. Robert Pleasant was born on March 9, 1864 and died on March 20, 1954. Gertrude was born on July 4, 1877 and died on April 1, 1957.

Little is known about Maloney's early years or family, however she was a graduate of the University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy. She worked as a pharmacist and medical technologist in Kansas City, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan and Albany, New York.

Mrs. Maloney met her husband, Clarence, an assistant attorney general, while working in the Bangs Disease Laboratory in Albany, New York. They were married in 1945 and moved to Buffalo shortly afterward. She continued to work as a medical technologist, at the E.G. Meyer Memorial Hospital, after her marriage until entering politics.

Mrs. Maloney was active in numerous community fund drives. She was an active worker for the Community Chest, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Cancer and American Heart Associations. "I'd ring those doorbells and get to talking with the women about city government", she explained. "I guess that was what made me decide to run for office."

Mrs. Maloney had been active in Kansas Democratic politics before moving to Buffalo and becoming involved in the Democratic Party in this city. In 1957, she was sworn in as a committeewoman in the Sixth District of the 13th ward. She made history, when in the same year; she was elected as Buffalo's first Councilwoman, the first Democrat ever to be elected in the Masten District, and the first African American to be elected in the district in twenty years. She did not have the party endorsement for her first election. She was re-elected in 1959. Several months prior her death, Mrs. Maloney was endorsed by the Democratic Executive Committee for Councilman-at-large, making her the first African American to be endorsed by a major political party for a city-wide elective office. Mrs. Maloney expressed her political creed as follows, "I'm a feminist. Women are the watchdogs of civilization. It's always a feminine voice which cries for better government and better social laws."

In 1959, she refused to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors in New Orleans. Because of segregation she could not stay in the same hotel as other delegates. she said, "I feel i would abdicate the principles of my group if I went to the conference." As a result of her stance, Mayor Frank A. Sedita also refused to attend the conference.

Mrs. Maloney was president of Buffalo Inter-Club Council for two years as well as founding president of the Democratic Business and Professional Women's Club. She was active in the Niagara Buffalo Links and the Litmus Study Club. In addition, she was past chairwoman of the Buffalo Urban League Guild, secretary of the United Negro College Fund Board, member of the YWCA Board and on the Social Welfare Council's Negro Adoption Committee. Maloney was also a member of the Niagara Frontier Association of Medical Technologists, the Masten District Youth Board, Emma V. Kelly Temple 700.IBPOEW, Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholastic Sorority, and the Women's Committee of the New York State Fair.

During her first term in office, Mrs. Maloney organized, with 15 other women, the "Good Neighbors Committee", to contact newcomers to the community, welcome them and, in a friendly way, let them know what was expected of them. The group encouraged new families to participate in community life.

Among her many honors, she was named Career Woman of the Year in 1957 by Iota Phi Lambda sorority. The following year the national IBPOEW designated her, Woman of the Year; the Federation of Women's Clubs gave her a certificate of merit and Faith Baptist Church made its Community Award to her. She also received community awards from the Urban League and the national Negro Business & Professional Women's Clubs. Shortly before her death, in May 1961, several hundred people attended a testimonial dinner for her at the Town Casino. It was sponsored by the Women's Democratic Club and the Young Men's Democratic Club of the Masten District. Gifts included an oil painting of her by artist Carl Wren.

Mrs. Maloney died on August 16, 1961, at the age of 56. She is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.