Prosperity Emerged from Zanesville Upbringing

Local News Stories

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The funeral for a prominent African-American businessman and corporate leader was held today at the Wings of Hope Tabernacle on Lee Street.  

Eric Peterson was born here in 1952 before earning a Business degree at Ohio University, achieving certificates at Northwestern, Stanford and Harvard Universities, then inspiring his children and everyone he would go on to meet.

Oral Roberts University President William Wilson attended the funeral and shared how the Peterson family has made a difference across the nation and around the world.

“Mr. Peterson’s son Eric Jr. works for me at Oral Roberts University,” Wilson said. “I got to know him several years ago. A delightful, gracious, Godly man. And so it’s really nice to be here to honor him today.”

Peterson retired from General Motors in 2016 as U.S. Vice President for Diversity Dealer Relations where he assisted minorities and women in becoming automobile dealers.

Ohio University President Hugh Sherman attended the funeral and noted how Peterson became involved with the university after his retirement.

“I knew Eric quite well over the past five or six years,” Sherman said. “He is a person who is very thoughtful and very kind. In all of the meetings, he would only speak up when there was something important to be said and everyone would listen to him. And he was always really kind to the new people and mentored them and helped them feel part of the university.”

Peterson involved himself with many organizations that aimed to mentor and improve others and was awarded Savoy magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.”

Matthew Morris
Matt joined WHIZ in 2014 as a part-time radio board operator. In 2018, he graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism's Carr Van Anda program where he earned an Outstanding Entrepreneurship award for his Photo-Journalism work at area speedways. Matt is a native of Morgan County who is familiar with the layout and history of Southeastern Ohio.