Cora P. Maloney: First African American Woman to Represent Masten District

Cora P. Maloney was the first African American woman elected Masten District representative to the Buffalo Common Council. There is aCollege at the University of Buffalo named after this pioneering Black woman. 

     Cora Pleasant Maloney was born in Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1905. 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 where she continued to work as a medical technologist until entering politics.

   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,