James Buford lauded for his service to St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO – A funeral mass was held Saturday at St. Alphonsus Liguori Rock Catholic Church James Buford, the former president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Burford died at the age of 75 on November 28th.

Buford led the Urban League for 28 years. He twice served as a board member to the National Urban League and as president of its Association of Executives.

“Jim Buford was a giant in the St. Louis Community that served with distinction and honor in countless roles impacting countless people. I met Mr. Buford when I was a teenager 32 years ago and watched him work hard to create the legacy that he did. The Urban League Movement has lost another champion of justice,” said Michael P. McMillan, president, and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Over the years he’s worked for several local organizations, including Grand Center, the Boy Scouts of America, Fair St. Louis, the UMSL Chancellor’s Council, Jobs for America’s Graduates, Heat-Up St. Louis, the Downtown Partnership Foundation, and the Missouri State University Foundation.

In 1999, he and other protesters were arrested for blocking Interstate 70 to push for job opportunities for minority contractors.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

He’s survived by his wife, Susan, and two sons James Jr. and Jason and extended family.


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