The City of Dreams: the Atlantic City Experience

Object Type: Folder
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William Cheatham Collection

This collection contains reports, news clippings, and correspondence relating to the development of Atlantic City. Particular topics of focus include Atlantic City casinos, urban housing, and intercity transportation. Other materials of interest include newspaper clippings of many of Cheatham’s letters to the editor. The small series of personal papers and correspondence also includes obituaries and funeral programs for various prominent and everyday Black Atlantic City residents. An Atlantic City community organizer, supporter, and advocate, William K. Cheatham was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1930. The son of Kneblett Cheatham and Mabel Strange, William moved to Atlantic City as a baby. He was baptized in Shiloh Baptist Church and attended the Atlantic City Public Schools until 1945. He also attended Atlantic Cape Community College and Richard Stockton State College and received various certificates in Computer Management and casino games and management. Mr. Cheatham worked for a number of Atlantic City institutions, including the Atlantic City Convention Hall (now, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall), the Atlantic City toll plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway, and at several casinos, including Harrah’s Marina and Revel Casino. His first job was at the YWCA cafeteria. A dedicated public advocate, Mr. Cheatham ran for Atlantic City Council in the second ward. Although he was unsuccessful in this and a second attempt, he remained involved and sat on many boards and commissions in Atlantic City. He was appointed to the Atlantic City Free Public Library Board of Trustees in 2005 and served as its president from 2008 until his death in 2021.

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