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The Honorable Louis Stokes

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Information about The Honorable Louis Stokes

Profile image of The Honorable Louis Stokes

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bass (Chilean Sea)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
Aim high.

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1925
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bass (Chilean Sea)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
Aim high.

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1925
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how The Honorable Louis Stokes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Politician, attorney and civil rights champion Louis Stokes was born on February 23, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. Raised by his mother, Stokes graduated from Central High School in 1943 where he was a member of the track team, the school newspaper, and the Latin club.

Soon after graduation, Stokes was inducted into the United States Army and he served in World War II. After his discharge in 1946, Stokes enrolled in Case-Western Reserve University and in 1953, Stokes earned his doctor of laws degree from Cleveland Marshall Law School.

Starting his law career as the in-house attorney for Carmack Realty Company, in 1955 Stokes established the law practice of Minor, Stokes and Stokes. During his fourteen year law career, Stokes participated in three cases before the United States Supreme Court including the landmark case of Terry v. Ohio, a search and seizure case which he argued and is taught in every law school. Elected to the United States Congress in 1968, Stokes became the first African American congressman from Ohio. He served fifteen consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969, Stokes served on a number of congressional committees including Appropriations, Intelligence and Ethics. In 1976, Stokes chaired the House Select Committee on Assassinations where he conducted hearings on the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

A recipient of many awards for his service to the community, Stokes retired from Congress in 1999 and worked as senior counsel at Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey and as a faculty member at Case-Western Reserve University. His brother, Carl, was the first black mayor of a major American city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1967.

Stokes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007. Stokes passed away on August 18, 2015.

See how The Honorable Louis Stokes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his earliest memories of his neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the holidays
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his neighbors
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early career ambitions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his activities at the St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his prospects after graduating from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Camp Stewart in Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his coursework at the Cleveland-Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the start of his career as a lawyer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the exclusion of black lawyers from majority firms
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers working with Norman S. Minor
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the law firm of Minor, Stokes and Stokes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers partnering with his brother, Carl Stokes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his decision to run for the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his congressional campaign
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the history of African Americans in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the Congressional Black Caucus' meeting with President Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the early goals of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the achievements of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his appointment to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the findings of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Louis Stokes' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes lists his favorites, session 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his mother's family history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his childhood community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his early household
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the residents of the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his relationship with his brother, Carl Stokes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the discipline of his maternal uncle
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his favorite childhood activities
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the black newspapers of his youth
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his early ambition to become a lawyer
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences at Giddings Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his favorite teachers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls working at an army surplus store, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his experiences of racial discrimination in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls leading a protest against discrimination in the U.S. Army, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his discharge from the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the conditions for black soldiers in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the education of his brother, Carl Stokes
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his undergraduate and law degrees
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Jewish and black communities of Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his start as a lawyer
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers meeting Norman S. Minor
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls founding the Minor, Stokes and Stokes law firm
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his early involvement with the NAACP
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his first marriage
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the influential black legislators in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes Carl Stokes' mayoral election
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls the case of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about school segregation in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about success of Craggett v. Cleveland Board of Education
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the case of Terry v. Ohio, 1968, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial profiling
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the legacy of football player Jim Brown
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about Carl Stokes' mayoral election
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about racial discrimination in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his congressional committee chairmanships
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his campaign for the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers the Glenville riots in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the depollution of the Cuyahoga River
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the radicalism of Fred Ahmed Evans
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the black members of the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers President Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his working relationship with U.S. Senator Edward Brooke
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 Black National Political Convention, pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the 1972 National Black Political Convention, pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes shares his perspective on the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes the Congressional Black Caucus' role in congressional committees
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the importance of African American participation on congressional committees
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - The Honorable Louis Stokes recalls his role on the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about the Iran-Contra Affair
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career as an attorney
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his career in the U.S. Congress
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his homes in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 12 Story: 10 - The Honorable Louis Stokes remembers his mother and brother, Carl Stokes
  • Tape: 12 Story: 11 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - The Honorable Louis Stokes reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - The Honorable Louis Stokes talks about his family
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - The Honorable Louis Stokes describes how he would like to be remembered