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Charles “Chuck” Stone Jr. was a prolific journalist who promoted diversity and equality during his long career in news reporting.

Stone was born in St. Louis in 1924. He was a Tuskegee Airman in the U.S. Army Air Corps before he went on to attend Wesleyan University. After graduating college, he traveled to Egypt, India and South Africa to help in aid and development projects.

He later settled into journalism, becoming the first black host for PBS’ Black Perspective in News. He went on to become editor of the New York Age, the Afro- American, senior editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Defender. These newspapers were notable news sources created by the black community.

Stone was very active in bringing diversity into the media. He was the first president of the National Association of Black Journalists. A close friend of Martin Luther King Jr., Stone was very involved in the desegregation movement. He was even offered the position of executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which he declined for the reason that he did not want his young children subjected to life in the South.

The integrity that Stone brought to his reporting caused him to transcend beyond his role as a journalist into the position of a liaison between the troubled parts of the African-American community and the society which they were at odds. His articles sparked conversation about race, and he gained credibility in the media and with the people.

After a long career of reporting and activism, Stone took his talents and experiences to the classroom. He became a Walter Spearman Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He won several teaching awards for his classes in censorship and magazine writing. He retired from UNC-CH in 2005. The Chuck Stone Program for Diversity and Education in Media was created in his honor. He contributed sharing with the scholars stories from his illustrious career.

Stone passed away in 2014 at the age of 89. The Chuck Stone Program strives to bring remembrance to his legacy.