Chuck Stone

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Chuck Stone
Born (1924-07-21)July 21, 1924
St. Louis, Missouri
Died April 6, 2014(2014-04-06) (aged 89)
near Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces, Tuskegee Airman
Battles/wars World War II
Other work newspaper editor, columnist, professor of journalism, author

Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone, Jr. (July 21, 1924 – April 6, 2014) was a Tuskegee Airman, an American newspaper editor, columnist, professor of journalism, and author. After completing his service in World War II, Stone already had been admitted to Harvard University but chose to matriculate at Wesleyan University.[1] In the 1940s, he was the first African-American undergraduate in several decades at Wesleyan, graduating in the class of 1948 and serving as the commencement speaker. Stone subsequently received a master's degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.

He was the first president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ, 1975–1977). According to his brief biography on the NABJ site, "Because of his reputation for integrity, he became a trusted middleman between Philadelphia police and murder suspects, more than 75 of whom 'surrendered' to Stone rather than to the cops."[2]

As an editor at Harlem's New York Age, the Washington, D.C. Afro-American, and the Chicago Daily Defender, he was strongly associated with the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power movement. He also served three years as a special assistant and speechwriter for Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of the 22nd congressional district of New York, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee. Stone later worked as a columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News from 1972 to 1991.

He taught journalism at the University of Delaware for several years.[3] For several years, circa 1986–1988, he served as the House Advisor for the Martin Luther King Humanities House at the University of Delaware. He then became Walter Spearman Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he retired in 2005.

Nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, Stone was inducted, in August 2004, by the NABJ into its Hall of Fame.[4] On March 29, 2007, Stone attended a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, where he and the other veteran Tuskegee Airmen (or their widows) were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush in recognition of the Airmen's service during World War II.[5]

Stone is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was a member of the fraternity's World Policy Council, a think tank whose purpose is to expand Alpha Phi Alpha's involvement in politics, and social and current policy to encompass international concerns.[6]

He is the father of Krishna Stone, Allegra Stone and Charles Stone III, creator and star of the Budweiser "Whassup!" television commercials, and director of movies such as Drumline, Mr. 3000, and Paid In Full.

On April 6, 2014, Stone died at the age of 89. He is survived by his three children, one grandchild, and two sisters.[7][8]


  • Tell It Like It Is
  • Black Political Power in America
  • King Strut (novel)
  • Squizzy the Black Squirrel: A Fabulous Fable of Friendship


  1. ^ Charles Sumner Stone, Jr.. Opening Doors, Changing lives.
  2. ^ "NABJ Presidents – National Association of Black Journalists".
  3. ^ "Chuck Stone to speak April 3 on hate speech". University of Delaware UpDate, Vol. 17, No. 24, March 19, 1998
  4. ^ "Chuck Stone | The HistoryMakers". August 4, 2005
  5. ^ William Douglas (March 30, 2007) "WWII black pilots, Tuskegee Airmen, get top civilian honor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  6. ^ "Chuck Stone, journalist of excellence".
  7. ^ Andrea Weigl (April 6, 2014). "Former UNC journalism professor Chuck Stone dies at 89". The News & Observer. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ Martin Weil (April 6, 2014) "Charles S. Stone Jr., journalist and professor, dies at 89". Washington Post.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dennis Jackson, Chuck Stone: Man in the Middle: A Story of "Audacious Black Power" in the Newsroom
  • The Chuck Stone Papers are housed in the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center at Duke University. (Inventory of the Chuck Stone Papers, 1931–2007 and undated – Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.)

External links[edit]

* Dennis Jackson, "Chuck Stone", Gale Contemporary Black Biography.