Owner and publisher of the Louisville Defender, Frank L. Stanley, dies.
1974 (Oct 12)
Frank L. Stanley, Sr., owner and publisher of the Louisville Defender and veteran civil rights activist, died in Louisville, Kentucky, at age sixty-eight. Stanley, the son of a butcher, was born in Chicago. At the age of six, his family moved to Louisville. He attended Atlanta University, where he was an all-American quarterback and captain of the football and basketball teams, and the University of Cincinnati. He received honorary doctorate degrees from several universities, including the University of Kentucky. In 1933, Stanley went to work for the Louisville Defender as a reporter. Three years later he became editor, general manager, and a part owner. During the years that he published the Defender, it received more than thirty-five awards in journalism, including the President's Special Service Award of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA) in 1970 and the coveted Russwurm Award in 1974. He was a co-founder of the NNPA and was elected its president on five separate occasions. Stanley drafted the legislation which led to the desegregation of state universities in Kentucky by its General Assembly in 1950. Ten years later he wrote the bill that created the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and was one of the original members of that body. His influence on race relations in Kentucky was noted by the Louisville Courier Journal on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Defender in 1950. “Much of the credit,” the newspaper said editorially, "for the even and amiable pace Kentucky has maintained in its working out of race relations problems must be given to the Defender.” Stanley was the force behind the Defender's role in that achievement.