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 is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.