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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. He was a member of the Tuskeegee Airmen during World War II and was the first president of the National Association of Black Journalists, serving from 1975 to 1977.[1] Passionate about racial issues and supportive of many liberal causes, he refused to follow any party line, "but called the issues as he saw them."[2]

Chuck Stone
Birth nameCharles Sumner Stone, Jr.
Born(1924-07-21)July 21, 1924
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedApril 6, 2014(2014-04-06) (aged 89)
near Chapel Hill, North Carolina
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army Air Forces, Tuskegee Airman
Battles/warsWorld War II
Other worknewspaper editor, columnist, professor of journalism, author


Early lifeEdit

Chuck Stone was born July 21, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Hartford, Connecticut.[3] Stone served in World War II, where he was member of the Tuskeegee Airmen. He had already been admitted to Harvard University after completing his military service, but chose instead to matriculate at Wesleyan University, receiving degrees in political science and economics.[4] 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. After completing his education, he worked for the Chicago department store Carson Pirie Scott, serving as the store's first African-American executive. He then studied law at the University of Connecticut before spending two years in Egypt, Gaza, and India as a representative for CARE.[3]

Professional careerEdit

Journalist and educatorEdit

Chuck Stone's career in journalism began in 1958, when his friend Al Duckett, then Editor of The New York Age, hired him as a reporter. Several months later he was promoted to Editor by the newspaper's owner, Samuel B. Fuller.[3] Stone worked as a columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News from 1972 to 1991. Stone was very critical of the Philadelphia Police Department's record of brutality towards African-Americans, which made him a trusted middleman between Philadelphia police and criminal suspects, more than 75 of whom 'surrendered' to Stone rather than to the cops.[2][5][6] He taught journalism at the University of Delaware for seven years,[7][6] and from 1986–1988, he served as the House Advisor for the Martin Luther King Humanities House at the University of Delaware. Stone later became the Walter Spearman Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he retired in 2005.

Stone was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, and was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in August 2004.[8] 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.[9]

Civil RightsEdit

Chuck Stone became associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power movement while working as an editor at Harlem's New York Age, the Washington, D.C. Afro-American, and the Chicago Daily Defender. 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. In 1966 Stone was a member of a steering committee organized by Powell to discuss the meaning of the Black Power Movement.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Stone was 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.[11] 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.

Death and legacyEdit

Stone died April 6, 2014, at the age of 89. He is survived by his three children, one grandchild, and two sisters.[12][13] Stone is considered to be the "driving force behind NABJ", and the key to the organization's longevity. Bob Butler, president of the NABJ from 2013 to 2015, credited Stone with helping to improve diversity in newsroom management, stating that "what (diversity) does exist is because of Chuck and the other founders of the NABJ."[14] The Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Education and Media is a workshop for rising high school seniors at the School of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. The program, which began in 2007, honors the legacy of Chuck Stone, who retired from the school in 2005.[15] The Chuck Stone Papers are housed in the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as part of the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University.[16]

Written worksEdit



  • King Strut (novel). Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1970. ASIN B0006CF6VK.
  • Squizzy the Black Squirrel: A Fabulous Fable of Friendship. Open Hand Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0940880717.[17]


  1. ^ "NABJ Presidents (Chuck Stone, 1975-1977).". Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Sowell, Thomas. "Chuck Stone (1924-2014).", April 11, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Jackson, Dennis. "'The Outspoken Mr. Stone': A Conversation With Chuck Stone." The Black Scholar 27:1, 1997. 38-57., April 14, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Charles Sumner Stone, Jr.: Wesleyan University, Class of 1948. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Abe, Daudi. "Stone, Charles Sumner, Jr. “Chuck” (1924-2014)." Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "In memoriam: UD colleagues remember Chuck Stone.", April 11, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "Chuck Stone to speak April 3 on hate speech." University of Delaware UpDate, Vol. 17, No. 24, March 19, 1998. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "EducationMakers, MediaMakers: Chuck Stone." HistoryMakers, August 4, 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Douglas, William. "WWII black pilots, Tuskegee Airmen, get top civilian honor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 30, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Karenga, Maulana. "Remembering Audacious Black Power: Revisiting the Model and Meaning." Los Angeles Sentinel, July 13, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  11. ^ "Chuck Stone, journalist of excellence." Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  12. ^ Weig, Andrea. "UNC journalism professor Chuck Stone dies at 89.", April 6, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  13. ^ Weil, Martin. "Charles S. Stone Jr., journalist and professor, dies at 89." Washington Post, April 6, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Berry, Scott. "NABJ Mourns the Loss of Founder and Celebrated Journalist Chuck Stone.", April 6, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  15. ^ "Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Education and Media." Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  16. ^ "Inventory of the Chuck Stone Papers, 1931–2007 and undated." Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  17. ^ "Squizzy the Black Squirrel: A Fabulous Fable of Friendship." Retrieved October 22, 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit