The Gentleman from Ohio
with David Chanoff
The Ohio State University Press
Available at Amazon & Book Stores Everywhere
Legacy of U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes Honored in new Autobiography
The Gentleman from Ohio Chronicles Beloved African American Political and Civil Rights Pioneer
(Cleveland, Ohio - August 11, 2016) – In a book finished just weeks before his death last August, legendary United States Congressman Louis Stokes shares his inspiring life story – from a boyhood in Cleveland’s projects to a career as one of the most powerful and respected men on Capitol Hill.
The Gentleman from Ohio (with David Chanoff; The Ohio University Press, September 2016; Foreword by U.S. Congressman John Lewis) chronicles the life and career of one of our nation’s most revered and accomplished leaders.
“It is not too much to say that Louis Stokes and his brother Carl helped lead the way in establishing a place for African Americans in the world of mainstream American politics. In doing that they helped rearrange our country’s political landscape. It was a historic achievement.” ─U.S. Congressman John Lewis
“Shortly before his death in 2015, Louis Stokes finished his autobiography, The Gentleman from Ohio. With this book, he bestows his last gift to the American public with this remarkable chronicle of his rise from poverty in Cleveland to the halls of power in Washington, DC, as the first black congressman from Ohio.” —Henry Louis Gates Jr.
“Full of humor, graciousness, anger, and glowing optimism, The Gentleman from Ohio is an essential read.” —Vernon Jordan
About Louis Stokes
Louis Stokes was a giant in Ohio politics and one of the most significant figures in the U.S. Congress in recent times. When he arrived in the House of Representatives as a freshman in 1969, there were only six African Americans serving. By the time he retired thirty years later, he chaired the House Special Committee on the Kennedy and King assassinations, the House Ethics Committee during Abscam, and the House Intelligence Committee during Iran-Contra; he was also a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The health care legislation he sponsored changed the way the health establishment treated women, minorities, and those who most needed help.
Prior to Louis Stokes’s tenure in Congress he served for many years as a criminal defense lawyer and chairman of the Cleveland NAACP Legal Redress Committee. Among the Supreme Court Cases he argued, the Terry “Stop and Frisk” case is regarded as one of the twenty-five most significant cases in the court’s history. The Gentleman from Ohio chronicles this and other momentous events in the life and legacy of Ohio’s first black representative—a man who, whether in law or politics, continually fought for the principles he believed in and helped lead the way for African Americans in the world of mainstream American politics.
Louis Stokes was raised in Cleveland’s projects, the son of a single mother who lost her husband when Louis was three. He was also the brother of Carl Stokes, who, before being elected as Cleveland’s first African American mayor, was elected as the first African American Democrat in the state legislature. Louis Stokes died at the age of ninety very shortly after finishing this autobiography.