LOUIS STOKES, the first African-American member of Congress
from the state of Ohio, transitioned to the Chapter Invisible, Tuesday,
August 18, 2015 at the age of 90.
Retired Congressman Stokes was initiated at the Cleveland State
University, January 19, 1948, the Alpha Omega of Kappa Alpha Psi
Fraternity, Inc. At his death he was a member of the Cleveland
Brother Stokes had a stellar career in the U. S. Congress where he
served 30 years, leaving a legacy that will always be remembered as
we visit several monuments named in his honor, including the "Louis
Stokes Health Sciences Library” Howard University, Washington, DC;
the "Louis Stokes Laboratories”, National Institute of Health, Bethesda,
MD; and the "Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs”, Cleveland, OH.
Brother Stokes was a "brother’s brother”, always willing to engage
members of our fraternity in conversation, whenever he could. His
active participation in the fraternity was recognized by the
fraternity, bestowing the 51st Laurel Wreath on him.
As a U. S. Congressman, Brother Stokes was one of the founders of
the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as a trustee of the Martin
Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change.
Stokes earned his doctor of laws degree from Cleveland-Marshall
law school in 1953 and practiced law for 14 years before serving in
As a practicing lawyer, he participated in three cases in the U.S.
Supreme Court, including arguing the landmark "stop and frisk" case
of Terry v. Ohio. He played a pivotal role in the quest for social and
economic justice, civil rights and equality throughout his career.
Stokes was the recipient of 27 honorary doctorate degrees. He
received the Congressional Distinguished Service Award in 2003,
becoming the first African American to earn this honor.
Members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity are grateful to Brother
Stokes’ wife of 55 years, Mrs. Jay Stokes" and the family for
supporting our brother in his many activities in Kappa Alpha Psi
The life of Brother Stokes is a fitting eulogy, a snapshot into the
life of a great man, who gave to the world the best that he had,
and the world is better because of his contributions to mankind.