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Chuck Stone, former UNC professor and respected journalist, dies

Chuck Stone, a former UNC professor and co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, has died. He was 89.
April 6, 2014 5:00:17 PM PDT
Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone Jr., a celebrated local journalist and educator, has died. He was 89.

Longtime viewers of ABC11 know Stone had appeared many times on our air and weighed in on some very important issues over his long and distinguished career. However, for those who knew him, he was more than a talking head. He was a friend, a mentor, an inspiration.

In 1975, Stone was one of the founding members and the first president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

"Gosh, he covered the White House, President Kennedy more or less broke the color barrier in the White House press corps by calling on Chuck. Chuck helped form the NABJ," said UNC School of Journalism Professor Charlie Tuggle.

"He had integrity, he was compassionate, and he just wanted to make sure us young journalists came up the right way," said Brett Chambers, with the Triangle Association of Black Journalists.

Three years before the birth of NABJ, Stone was named the first black columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, where he spoke out against discrimination and police brutality.

His daughter remembers wanted men would surrender to Stone.

"We would be eating dinner or something and he would get this call from somebody who wanted to turn himself in, who wanted to do the right thing but did not want to be killed while trying to do the right thing," said Krishna Stone, Stone's daughter.

Tuggle worked with Stone when he became the Walter Spearman Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991. Stone taught censorship and magazine writing while at UNC and won Excellence in Teaching on more than one occasion. He retired in 2004.

"He was an icon on the campus, he will remain an icon on our campus, and a very special person to us," Tuggle said.

Over his career, Stone received six honorary doctorates and multiple awards, including the Distinguished Service in Journalism Award, the National Association of Black Journalists' Lifetime Achievement Award and The Freedom Forum's Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award.

His daughter told ABC11 that Stone always reminded his children and his grandchildren, "don't stop reading, don't stop learning, and to volunteer." That is the way Stone would like the world to remember him.

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

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chuck Stone Citizen of the World fund at the UNC School of Journalism or the Mass Communication Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.

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