Carl Burton Stokes

Stokes, Carl Burton, 1927–96, American political leader, b. Cleveland. A 1956 graduate of the Cleveland Marshall School of Law, Stokes began his political career as a Democratic member of the Ohio general assembly (1962–67). In 1965 he narrowly lost a race for mayor of Cleveland. In 1967 he ran again and became the first African American to be elected mayor of a major American city. He was reelected in 1969, but after his second term he left politics to become a news broadcaster in New York City. He returned to Cleveland in 1980 and was general counsel to the United Automobile Workers. In 1983 Stokes was elected municipal court judge, serving two terms as head of the court. He then served (1994–95) as ambassador to the Seychelles.

See his memoirs, Promises of Power (1983).

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