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George K. Arthur remembered

File Photo / WBFO News
George Arthur (r) with Blues singer Count Rabbit, as they recorded a conversation for NPR StoryCorps in Buffalo.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has ordered all City of Buffalo flags be displayed at half staff through Jan. 4 in honor of George K. Arthur.

Arthur passed away Christmas Day at the age of 87. He was a pioneering politician who championed civil rights and had a thumb on the pulse of the city his entire life.

Brown recognized Arthur earlier this week during a Kwanzaa Liberation Flag-raising ceremony at City Hall.

"We lost one of our elders, former Council President George K. Arthur, and I just want to remember him today, as we raise the flag," Brown said. "His life's work made Buffalo a better place for all people.”

Credit Albright-Knox Art Gallery
(l to r) Malcolm X, Alicia Garza, George K. Arthur, W. E. B. DuBois, Eva Doyle and Huey P. Newton are among the 28 faces of civil rights leaders on the Freedom Wall in Buffalo's Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor.

In his Wednesday announcement, Brown noted Arthur's active involvement in public service for 55 years, including 26 years as a Buffalo Common Council member, 12 of them as Council president. Arthur was also a member of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority until his passing and a mentor to many, as a major figure in the region's African-American community. However, his list of accomplishments as a community builder is long and impactful.

He will be laid to rest in Forest Lawn Cemetery on Saturday.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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