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King W. Peterson

Born on 7-13-1915. He was born in Pelham, GA. He was accomplished in the area of Politics. He later died on 9-23-2012.
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King W. Peterson was born July 13, 1915, the eldest son of Samuel H. and Aurilla Collier Peterson, in Pelham, Georgia. The family relocated to Buffalo, New York, where King attended the Buffalo Public School System. He graduated from Hutchinson Technical High School. He also attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

His early employment was with the Buffalo Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Company, where his fellow employees elected him to the Union Bargaining Committee representing them in labor/management relations. In addition, he was appointed by the late Walter P. Reuther to the position of the International Representative of the United Auto Workers (UAW). He represented General Motors employee union members at both the Foundry and Forge Plants.

Thereafter, he began a public service career when elected to county government where he served two terms on the Erie County Board of Supervisors, representing the old Fifth Ward in the City of Buffalo. Upon completion of this tenure, he was elected to the Buffalo Common Council as Ellicott District Councilman. In this capacity he served as Chairman of the Legislation Committee, President of Pro-Tem and acting Mayor of the City of Buffalo for ten days. King was the first African American to execute this office. He was acting mayor for the City of Buffalo for 10 days in 1956.

In 1967, Mr. Peterson was elected as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention (55th Senate District). Additionally, his impressive career includes Assistant Project Manager for the City of Buffalo, where he executed among other things, the Hamlin Park Neighborhood Improvement Program. This program was primarily federally funded.

During this period, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees for First Shiloh Baptist Church for ten years (Trustee Emeritus). He became a member of First Shiloh Baptist Church at the age of 10. He was also member of the building committee as the congregation undertook construction of a new sanctuary and educational facility. He had been the Church's Food Pantry Coordinator/Assistant since 1976.

Although Mr. Peterson retired from public service in 1979, he continued to be involved in the community. Some of his past and current affiliations are: former President of the Buffalo Central Home Finders; former Director of United Way; former Director of Food Bank of WNY for ten years; chairman of the Board of Directors of Towne Garden Housing Development, also for ten years; Director of Shiloh Housing Development Corporation; member of Buffalo Urban League; Life Member of the NAACP; member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity in 1937 & 1947; founder of the Buffalo Alumni Chapter.

His favorite hobby was bowling and he so much enjoyed traveling abroad. His favorite past-time was getting together with the "Yard People".

Mr. Peterson and his lovely wife, the former Jannie McCarley, were married on January 28, 1940 and celebrated 72 years before her death in January 2012. His children, Kenneth and Lawrence (both deceased) and Lorraine have presented them with five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He has enjoyed seeing them grow up and live productive lives.

His advice, not only to his children, but to all, is "Respect yourself and others, reach out to help others and only what you do for Christ will last."

Mr. Peterson embraced the precept expressed by Poet Laureate, Ralph Waldo Emerson. "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."