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19. 1940s, Merle McCurdy and Norman Minor

@ Kent State University


Written on the back of the photograph from right to left “Merle, SI Minor, & Garrett Morgan.” After graduating from the Western Reserve in 1947, Merle worked briefly for Myron Huff and then for five years as a partner for Norman Shelby Minor, a famous Cleveland criminal defense lawyer who served seventeen years as a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. During his career Minor participated in approximately 5,000 cases and mentored several prominent African American lawyers, who later in life would make a lasting impact on local and state politics and the law. In addition to Merle, Minor guided the renowned Stokes brothers. Carl Stokes became the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city (Cleveland) in 1967 and served three terms as the first African American Democrat for the Ohio House of Representatives. Louis Stokes was the first African American U.S. Congressman elected from the State of Ohio, and he and his brother Carl would also establish a successful law firm known for taking on high profile and civil rights cases. Sources Case Western Reserve University. (2018, May 11). Stokes, Carl B. Retrieved from Case Western Reserve University. (2018, May 11). Stokes, Louis. Retrieved from Kennedy, R. (1961, August 17). Letter to President John F. Kennedy on the Nomination of Merle McCurdy for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Norman S. Minor, Noted Defense Lawyer, Is Dead at 67. (1968, May 16). The Plain Dealer, p. 21.

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Kent State University

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Ohio Digital Network