World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Louis Stokes

Article Id: WHEBN0000718060
Reproduction Date:

Title: Louis Stokes  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charles Vanik, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio's 11th congressional district, United States congressional delegations from Ohio, Congressional Black Caucus
Collection: 1925 Births, 2015 Deaths, African-American Members of the United States House of Representatives, African-American Military Personnel, American Freemasons, American Military Personnel of World War II, Cancer Deaths in Ohio, Case Western Reserve University Alumni, Cleveland Municipal Court Judges, Cleveland–marshall College of Law Alumni, Deaths from Brain Tumor, Deaths from Lung Cancer, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio, Ohio Democrats, Ohio Lawyers, People from Cleveland, Ohio, United States Army Soldiers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Louis Stokes

Louis Stokes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1999
Preceded by Dennis E. Eckart
Succeeded by Stephanie Tubbs Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 21st district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Charles Vanik
Succeeded by District eliminated
Personal details
Born (1925-02-23)February 23, 1925
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died August 18, 2015(2015-08-18) (aged 90)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jay Stokes 1940–2015 (his death)
Children Shelley Stokes-Hammond
Angela R. Stokes
Louis "Chuck" Stokes
Lori Stokes
Residence Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1946
Battles/wars World War II

Louis Stokes (February 23, 1925 – August 18, 2015) was an attorney and politician from Cleveland, Ohio. He served 15 terms in the United States House of Representatives – representing the east side of Cleveland – and was the first black congressman elected in the state of Ohio.[1] He was one of the Cold War-era chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee, headed the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the first black on the House Appropriations Committee.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Later life and death 3.1
  • Legacy 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Born in Cleveland, Stokes and his brother Carl B. Stokes lived in one of the first federally funded housing projects, the Outhwaite Homes. Louis attended Central High School. Stokes 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,[2]

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.[2] 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.


Stokes' tenure in the House of Representatives included service on the House Appropriations Committee, where he was influential in bringing revenue to Cleveland. He was particularly interested in veterans' issues and secured funds for health-care facilities for veterans in Cleveland.[2]

In the 1970s, Stokes served as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, charged with investigating the murders of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.. He served on the House committee that investigated the Iran-Contra Affair. As Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Stokes oversaw the committee's investigation of a corruption scandal known as ABSCAM in 1979–80, which eventually led to convictions of one senator and six House members. Recalling Stokes, U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said: "We were in the midst of a huge ... corruption scandal, and public service was taking a public beating. But Lou Stokes was a there as a shining beacon of integrity, of excellence and most important of all for us, of justice."[2]

In 1992, Stokes ran for president as an Ohio favorite son, winning the delegates from his home district in Ohio, and then, in a minor Democratic convention drama, refused to release the delegate's votes until the Clinton campaign formally asked for them.[2]

Personal life

Stokes' daughter, Angela, serves as a Cleveland Municipal Court judge while another, Lori, is a journalist with WABC-TV New York. His son, Chuck, is also a journalist with WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Stokes' brother, Carl B. Stokes, was the first African American mayor of a large American city.[2]

Stokes was a Prince Hall Freemason,[3] and a member of the Cleveland Alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Later life and death

Stokes retired in 2012 as Senior Counsel in the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, with offices in Cleveland and Washington.[4]

On July 20, 2015, it was reported that Stokes had both brain cancer and lung cancer.[1] He died on August 18, 2015 at his home in Cleveland from the diseases at the age of 90.[2][5]


The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority opened the Louis Stokes Museum on September 13, 2007. This Museum houses Stokes memorabilia, video interviews, misc. video footage, awards and a written history about Stokes and his rise to prominence. The museum is located at Outhwaite Homes, 4302 Quincy Avenue.

From 2006-08, the Western Reserve Historical Society opened an exhibition on the lives of Congressman Stokes and his brother titled "Carl and Louis Stokes: From the Projects to Politics". The exhibit uses photographs, manuscript collections, and personal items to showcase Louis Stokes' rise from the Outhwaite homes, his legal career, and his Congressional service. The former Congressman was inducted into the Karamu House Hall of Fame in 2007 for his contributions to the continued legacy of Cleveland's black settlement house and theatre.

Many buildings throughout the country have been named in Stokes honor including: Howard_University's medical library, the Cleveland Public Library's main building expansion, and the GCRTA's Windermere station Louis Stokes Station at Windermere. The greater Cleveland area Veteran's hospital was renamed the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Building 50 on the campus of the National Institutes of Health is named the Louis Stokes Laboratories.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Louis Stokes diagnosed with lung and brain cancer". Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Longtime Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes dies at 90",, August 19, 2015; retrieved August 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Gray, David (2012). The History of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio F&AM 1971–2011: The Fabric of Freemasonry. Columbus, Ohio: Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio F&AM. p. 414.  
  4. ^ "Squire Sanders Announces Louis Stokes' Retirement as Senior Counsel", Squire Patton Boggs, December 6, 2012.
  5. ^ WKYC Staff (August 19, 2015). "Former Congressman Louis Stokes has died". WKYC. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "New Laboratory Building in Honor of Louis Stokes". Retrieved August 20, 2015. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.