“At the end of the Spring 1954, Peter M. Pryor became the first African-American male since the 19th century to graduate from Albany Law School. He graduated around the time of the landmark decision of Brown vs. Board of Education. The interview below covers all aspects of his life from growing up in the South, to his life and career as a lawyer in Albany. This includes his life in the South during segregation, serving in World War II, his activity as an active Albany lawyer during the Civil Rights movement, and other parts of his distinguished career. He is an emeritus of the Board of Trustees at Albany Law School.”
“Attorney Pryor served our country with distinction during World War II, reaching the rank of sergeant in the United States Army. He is a 1952 graduate from Siena College. He was the first African-American to graduate from Albany Law School since Reconstruction. In his law practice, Mr. Pryor represented the poor and victims of discrimination. He has been called a “provocative and enduring pioneer” which is the reason why on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association (CDBHBA) chose to create the Peter M. Pryor Pioneer Award in his honor.” Click HERE to view a group photo from the event. Click HERE to view a photo of the awards from the evening.
Additionally, in his distinguished career, he was appointed by the NYS Attorney General Louis Lefkowitz as an Assistant Attorney General, appointed counsel to the NYS Water Authority, and appointed Chairman of the NYS Consumer Protection Board by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. He also served as counsel to the New York State Insurance Fund. In 1980, he returned to the private practice of law with the law firm of Nolan & Heller and then The law office of Peter M. Pryor. At age 89, he is retired from the practice of law, but still resides in the City of Albany with his wife of 47 years.