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Library branch named for former Urban League head

The East Delavan Branch Library has a new name: the Leroy R. Coles, Jr. Branch Library.

A widely-known and respected community leader, Coles was president and chief executive officer of the Buffalo Urban League for 26 years before retiring in 1998. During his time at the helm, the organization established the first black adoption agency in upstate New York, and he led a community fund drive that raised $1.5 million for the league's present headquarters at 15 E. Genesee St.

During the 1963 People's March on Washington, D.C. he marched alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Whitney Young, Coles recalled in a 1998 Buffalo News article.

Coles, a Buffalo native and Army veteran, died in 2015 in Raleigh, N.C.

The Buffalo Common Council approved a resolution Tuesday to rename the library.

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