photo credit: History Makers.com
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland NAACP tells Channel 3 that attorney Stanley Eugene Tolliver Sr. has died. Tolliver, 85, had been at the Wade Park VA hospital.
Tolliver was an attorney, activist and a member of the Cleveland NAACP executive committee and was born in Cleveland on Oct. 29, 1925.
He served as legal counsel for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Congress of Racial Equality.
He was also the only African American attorney involved in the defense of the students charged in the Kent State University anti-Viet Nam War protest in the 1970s.
Tolliver was first elected to the Cleveland school board in 1981. His twelve years on the board included two terms as board president.
Tolliver graduated from East Technical High School in 1944 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1948.
He completed his legal education at Cleveland Marshall School of Law, earning his LLB degree in 1951, a LLD degree in 1968, and his J.D. degree in 1969.
After completing his LLB, Tolliver served in the U. S. Army Counterintelligence Corps from 1951 through 1953, and then passed the bar exam while in the army in 1953.
Tolliver joined other Ohioans in leading the call for the desegregation of the Cleveland Public Schools.
After the state and local boards of education were found guilty of operating a segregated school system in Cleveland, the presiding jurist in the case, Federal Judge Frank J. Battisti, appointed Tolliver to the Committee on the Office on School Monitoring and Community Relations in 1978.
Tolliver is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1978 and the NAACP (Cleveland Chapter) Freedom Award in 2000.
He was inducted into the East Technical High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.
Tolliver was married to the late Dorothy Olivia Greenwood Tolliver for fifty years. They had three children — Stephanie, Sherrie, and Stanley, Jr.