George K. Arthur, former Buffalo Common Council President, has passed away at the age of 87.

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Credit: WGRZ

After battling a long illness, George K. Arthur passed away on Christmas, according to his son. He was 87 years old. His son told WGRZ's Claudine Ewing,

He died peacefully.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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From 1970 to 1977 George K. served as a Buffalo Common Councilmember for the Ellicott District. In 1978 he was elected as councilman-at-large. George K. was the president of the Buffalo Common Council from 1984 to 1996, according to The History Makers.

George K. was instrumental in desegregating Buffalo Public Schools, according to The History Makers,

With the support of the Buffalo branch of the NAACP and the Citizens’ Council for Human Relations, Arthur was one of the plaintiffs to file a school desegregation lawsuit against the City of Buffalo in 1972. In 1976, the courts ruled their favor.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued a statement on George's passing,

I’m deeply saddened by the passing of George K. Arthur, a powerhouse in Buffalo government and politics. He was a tireless advocate for positive change in our community and was a pioneer for equity, successfully pushing to desegregate the Buffalo Public Schools. Even after retiring, George kept his finger on the pulse of our community, remaining involved through his work on the Buffalo Control Board, the Nash House, Pine Grill Reunion and several other organizations. George K. Arthur was a change maker and inspiration to generations of Buffalonians, please join me in extending your prayers to his family.

George will be remembered by the many people whose lives he touched. He was given his flowers while he was alive; he was memorialized with the naming of the George K. Arthur Community Center, located at 2056 Genesee Street in Buffalo. May he Rest in Power!

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