Congressman Stokes was in office for thirty years. His accomplishments as Ohio’s first black representative are more or less legendary. He chaired the special committee on the JFK and MLK assassinations. He chaired the Intelligence Committee during the Iran-Contra affair and the Ethics Committee during Abscam, the House page scandal, and the controversies over Geraldine Ferraro’s vice presidential run. He is also the brother of former Cleveland mayor, Carl Stokes, who before being elected as Cleveland’s first African American mayor, was elected as the first African American Democrat in the Ohio state legislature.
Prior to Congressman Louis Stokes’s election to the House he was a leading NAACP lawyer who argued several Supreme Court cases, including the Terry “Stop and Frisk” case. Terry v. Ohio still defines the law in this area, and it may be more significant now than it has ever been. As a Cleveland NAACP lawyer Stokes also intervened in several cases concerning police shootings of unarmed black men.
In January of this year Congressman Stokes was interviewed by two of his children.