James Buford dies; former Urban League president

ST. LOUIS – James H. Buford, the former president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, died Friday, Nov. 29. He was 75.

Relatives said Mr. Buford died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a brief, undisclosed illness.

Mr. Buford was born in St. Louis in 1944; his father was one of the city’s first black police officers.

Throughout a long career, Mr. Buford worked for social and economic parity. He was known for his efforts to bridge racial gaps between blacks and whites in St. Louis.

He led the Urban League from 1985 to 2013.

In a tweet, the Urban League “mourns the passing of former President and CEO Dr. James H. Buford. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to his wife Mrs. Susan Buford and family.”

Mayor Lyda Krewson said on Twitter:

“Distinguished civil rights advocate and long time @ulstl President Jim Buford being remembered today as a strong leader of change in our community. Firm – Collaborative – Nice – Citizen of the Year – We will miss Jim, his warm smile, & seeing his distinguished bowties. RIP Jim”

Details about a memorial service have not yet been released.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

June Heath

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