NABJ Co-founder Chuck Stone Dies at 89

Updated Apr 7, 2014

Charles Sumner “Chuck” Stone Jr., a former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill journalism professor and co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, died at the age of 89 on Sunday.

Stone wrote for and led some of the country’s most influential African-American newspapers, including the Washington Afro-American where he served as White House correspondent and editor, the Chicago Daily Defender where he was editor and the New York Age where he was a reporter and editor. In 1972, he became the Philadelphia Daily News’ first Black columnist.

Stone, along with 43 others, founded the National Association of Black Journalists in Washington, D.C., in 1975 and served as the organization’s first president.

Stone’s career in education began when he became a visiting lecturer at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Research. In 1985, he taught journalism at the University of Delaware. Stone taught censorship and magazine writing as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Walter Spearman Professor from 1991 until his retirement in 2005.

Over his career, Stone received six honorary doctorates and multiple honors, including the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award from The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Lifetime Achievement Award and The Freedom Forum’s Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award.

Stone is also known as a former Tuskegee airman. Born in St. Louis, Mo., on July 21, 1924 and raised in Hartford, Conn., Stone received U.S. Air Corps flight training in Tuskegee, Ala. during World War II before graduating from Wesleyan College in 1948. Stone then earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1951.

Stone is survived by children Krishna Stone, Allegra Stone and Charles S. Stone III; grandchild Parade Stone; and sisters Madalene Seymour and Irene Gordy.