Cora P. Maloney was born in Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1905. 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. 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 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 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. Mrs. Maloney died on August 16, 1961, at the age of 56. She is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
The Cora P. Maloney College (CPMC) was chartered in 1976 and was named in honor of Mrs. Maloney, who was very active in community, educational and political affairs and is recognized as one of the leading African-American women building communities in Western New York. Originating as a residential college at UB, the CPMC continues to be a unique college that combines residential and academic programs to address the needs and concerns of UB students of color and residents in the City of Buffalo. Its purpose is to provide students with academic experiences from a community perspective.
Photo of Mrs. Maloney courtesy of the Uncrowned Queens Institute.
Last updated: April 26, 2017 11:32 am EST