Carl Stokes was born on June 21, 1927, in Cleveland, Ohio. His father died when Stokes was young. He worked various jobs to support his family and served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He studied law and passed the bar in 1957. He served as Cleveland’s first African American mayor from 1967 to 1971. He then became a New York City news anchor and won an Emmy Award. He died on April 3, 1996.