THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES CARL BURTON STOKES AS AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES The President today announced his intention to nominate Carl
Burton Stokes, of Ohio, as Ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles.
Judge Stokes was recently re-elected to his third term on the Cleveland Municipal Court where, on two occasions, he has served as its Administrative and Presiding Judge. When Carl Burton Stokes was first elected as a judge in 1983, it was an historic occasion because it marked the first time that an African- American had been elected to all three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial. In 1967 he was the first African- American to be elected Mayor of a major American city, Cleveland, Ohio.
Born in Cleveland, OH, on June 21, 1927, Judge Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, were raised by their widowed mother. A former high school drop-out, he returned to school and earned his diploma from East Technical High School after serving in the U. S. Army occupational forces in Europe.
Mr. Stokes attended West Virginia State College and Cleveland College of Western Reserve University before earning a Bachelor of Science in Law degree at the University of Minnesota in June, 1954. He subsequently received his Doctorate of Laws degree from Cleveland Marshall School of Law in 1956, passed the Ohio Bar, and in 1958 and was an assistant city prosecutor for the next four years. In 1962, he became the first African-American Democrat ever to be elected to the Ohio Legislature. In 1966, State Representative Stokes was named "The Outstanding Legislator" by his fellow members.
In 1967, Judge Stokes defeated incumbent Mayor Ralph Locher in the primary election by 20,000 votes. In the general election, this grandson of a slave defeated the grandson of a former U. S. President, Seth Taft, and became the first African-American ever to be elected mayor of a major and predominately white city.
He was re-elected Mayor of Cleveland in 1969. After his two terms, Mayor, Stokes retired from politics and turned to television journalism. In May 1972, he became an anchorman for WNBC TV News in New York City - the first African American journalist to anchor a daily television news show in that City.