Peter Tali Coleman

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Peter Tali Coleman
Peter Tali Coleman.jpg
43rd, 51st & 53rd Governor of American Samoa
In office
January 2, 1989 – January 3, 1993
Lieutenant Galea'i Peni Poumele
(1989–1992)
None (1992–1993)
Preceded by A. P. Lutali
Succeeded by A. P. Lutali
In office
January 3, 1978 – January 3, 1985
Lieutenant Tufele Liamatua
Preceded by H. Rex Lee
Succeeded by A. P. Lutali
In office
October 15, 1956 – May 24, 1961
Preceded by Richard Barrett Lowe
Succeeded by H. Rex Lee
Personal details
Born (1919-12-08)December 8, 1919
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Died April 28, 1997(1997-04-28) (aged 77)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nora Stewart Coleman (1941-1997)
Profession attorney

Peter Tali Coleman (December 8, 1919 – April 28, 1997) was the first person of Samoan descent to be appointed Governor of American Samoa and later became the territory's first popularly elected governor. A member of the Republican Party, he is the only U.S. governor whose service spanned five decades (1956–1961, 1978–1985 and 1989–1993) and one of the longest-serving governors of any jurisdiction in American history.

Background[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, Coleman graduated from Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He later joined the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain during World War II. He received his law degree from Georgetown University, and served in American Samoa both as a public defender and as the territory's attorney general.

Coleman was appointed governor of American Samoa in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower. At the conclusion of his term, he served a variety of positions in the Pacific Islands, including:

In 1977, Coleman became the first popularly elected governor of American Samoa. He was subsequently elected in 1980 and 1988.

Death[edit]

Coleman died in 1997 in Honolulu after a two-year struggle with cancer.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Richard Barrett Lowe
Governor of American Samoa
(1st Term)

1956–1961
Succeeded by
H. Rex Lee
Political offices
Preceded by
H. Rex Lee
Governor of American Samoa
(2nd and 3rd Terms)

1978–1985
Succeeded by
A. P. Lutali
Preceded by
A. P. Lutali
Governor of American Samoa
(4th Term)

1989–1993
Succeeded by
A. P. Lutali