Stokes, Louis, 1925-2015

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Louis Stokes (February 23, 1925 – August 18, 2015) was an American attorney, civil rights pioneer and politician. He served 15 terms in the United States House of Representatives – representing the east side of Cleveland – and was the first African American congressman elected in the state of Ohio. He was one of the Cold War-era chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee, headed the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the first African American on the House Appropriations Committee.

Stokes was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Louise (née Stone) and Charles Stokes. He and his brother, politician Carl B. Stokes, lived in one of the first federally funded housing projects, the Outhwaite Homes. Stokes attended Central High School and later served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46. After attending Western Reserve University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law on the G.I. Bill, Stokes began practicing law in Cleveland in 1953. He argued the "stop and frisk" case of Terry v. Ohio before the United States Supreme Court in 1968. Later in 1968, he was elected to the House, representing the 21st District of Ohio on Cleveland's East Side. He shifted to the newly created 11th District, covering much of the same area following a 1992 redistricting. Stokes served 30 years in total, retiring in 1999.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn White House Central Files Name Files, 8/1974 - 1/1977 Gerald R. Ford Library
referencedIn Subject Files on Federal Government Organizations, 1993 - 2001 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
creatorOf Louis Stokes Scrapbooks, 1948-1998 Western Reserve Historical Society
referencedIn Records of the Women's Equity Action League, 1966-1979 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn McFadden, Martin. Martin McFadden papers, 1925-2003. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf Stokes, Carl, 1927-1996. Carl Stokes papers. series II, 1947-1992 (1967-1971). Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Bond, Julian, 1940-. Julian Bond papers [manuscript], circa 1943-2006. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Stokes, Carl. Papers, 1957-1972. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
creatorOf Weeden, John T., Sr., 1901-1988. John T. Weeden, Sr. family papers, 1922-1994. Western Reserve Historical Society, Research Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of Justice, 1790 - 2002. Congressional Committee Chairmen Correspondence Files, 1982 - 1998 National Archives at College Park
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf The HistoryMakers Video Oral History with The Honorable Louis Stokes The HistoryMakers
Relation Name
associatedWith Bond, Julian, 1940- person
almaMaterOf Case Western Reserve University corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Cleveland-Marshall College of Law corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith McFadden, Martin. person
sibling of Stokes, Carl. person
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
associatedWith Weeden, John T., Sr., 1901-1988. person
correspondedWith Women's Equity Action League corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Silver Spring MD US
Cleveland OH US
Cleveland OH US
African American politicians--Ohio--Cleveland
Representatives, U.S. Congress--Ohio


Birth 1925-02-23

Death 2015-08-18






Ark ID: w61s7fsd

SNAC ID: 85329950