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Governor Peter Tali Coleman

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Office Dates:  Jan 03, 1978 - Jan 03, 1985 , Jan 02, 1989 - Jan 03, 1993

Born:  Dec 08, 1919

Passed:  Apr 28, 1997

Birth State:  American Samoa

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married Nora Stewart Coleman; thirteen children

School(s):  Georgetown University

Military Service:  Army


PETER TALI COLEMAN was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa. He enlisted in the army during World War II, rising to the rank of captain, and has been inducted into the U.S. Army Infantry Hall of Fame. After receiving his bachelor's and law degrees from Georgetown University, he returned to the Pacific to practice law and became attorney general of the territory in 1955. The first native Samoan to be appointed governor, he served 1956-1961 and later became American Samoa's first elected governor serving 1978-1981. He was reelected in 1980 and then served a third term 1988-1993. He has also served as chief executive of the Marshalls and the Marianas; as deputy high commissioner of the Trust Territory; as counsel to the Pacific Advisory Committee of George Bush's Fund for American's Future; as honorary consul for the Republic of Nauru in American Samoa; and as founding chair of the Republican Party of American Samoa. His service as governor spanned five decades.