WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Peter Peyser, one of the major political figures in Westchester County history, died Thursday at his home in Irvington. He was 93 and suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Peyser served five terms as a U.S. Congressman representing Westchester after entering politics by being elected mayor of Irvington.
Peyer's tenure in Congress -- in which he served three terms as a Republican (from 1971 to 1977) and two terms as a Democrat (from 1979 to 1983) -- came after he had been mayor of Irvington, a position he began in 1962.
Peyser challenged incumbent Sen. James Buckley in the 1976 Republican primary, but lost. Daniel Patrick Moynihan went on to defeat Buckley in the general election. That unsuccessful attempt -- and acrimony that occurred within the Republican party -- prompted Peyser to switch parties and run as a Democrat when he returned to Congress.
After his political career ended, he worked for investment management firms Gabelli Asset Management, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Daseke & Co.
A native of Long Island, Peyser graduated from Colgate University before serving in the Army during World War II.
Peyser is survived by his wife, Marguerite; his daughters Penny Peyser and Safi Abhetti; and sons Peter Peyser, James Peyser and Thomas Peyser; and five grandchildren. Penny Peyser is an actress whose credits include the 1976 movie "All the President's Men," and more recently, the TV series "The Mentalist," "Knots Landing" and "Crazy Like a Fox."
A wake is scheduled for the Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home in Dobbs Ferry from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Funeral services will be Monday at 3 p.m. at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Irvington.
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