Carl Burton Stokes (June 21, 1927--April 3, 1996) was an American politician of the Democratic party who served as the 51st mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Elected on November 7, 1967, but took office on Jan 1, 1968, he was the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city. Fellow Ohioan Robert C. Henry was the first African American mayor of any U.S. city (Springfield, elected 1966). Stokes was born in Cleveland to Charles Stokes, a laundryman who died when Carl was three years old, and Louise (Stone) Stokes, a cleaning woman who then raised Carl, and his brother, Louis Stokes, in Cleveland's first federally funded housing project for the poor, Outhwaite Homes.
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