Buffalo in the ’60s: The Gorskis and O’Connells – generations in the Buffalo limelight

By Steve Cichon

There were smiles all around at the Statler Hilton on Election Day 1967. Buffalo Common Council President Chester Gorski (left) and Buffalo City Comptroller George O’Connell (right) had both just been re-elected to another term.


Buffalo News archives

The photo shows Gorski and his wife Helen, Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Crangle, and O’Connell and his wife Beatrice.

Gorski was the father of Dennis Gorski, who served as Erie County Executive (1988-99), and is currently Cheektowaga Town Justice.  The elder Gorski was also the father of Jerome, the now-retired State Supreme Court and Appellate Court justice.

Chester Gorski served in Congress from 1949-51 and as Buffalo’s Common Council President from 1960-74.

George O’Connell was Buffalo Comptroller from 1962 until his death in 1975. Among his seven children are Buffalo Theatre founder and actress Mary Kate O’Connell and longtime television weathercaster Kevin O’Connell, who is expected to retire soon from WGRZ-TV.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.