From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

White, Paul Dunbar

(born: 1917  -  died: 1997) 

Paul Dunbar White was born in LaGrange, KY, the son of Reverend Isham H. White and Florence Harris White.

In 1963, White was the first African American judge elected [never appointed] to the Cleveland (OH)  Municipal Court. He also served as Director of Law in Cleveland, hired in 1967 by Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major city in the U.S.

In 1968, White became the first African American lawyer in a major Cleveland firm, Baker & Hostetler, and was made partner in 1970. The firm established the Paul D. White Scholarship in 1997.

Paul D. White was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he played on the championship football team as a fullback, then later played professionally for one season in Indianapolis, IN. White was also a 1950 graduate of Western Reserve Law School [now Case Western Reserve University, School of Law] and following his graduation, was hired by Kentucky native and Cleveland attorney Jean Capers. White was also a minister.

For more see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; and the The Plain Dealer articles - - R. M. Peery, "Paul Dunbar White, 79, Judge, City Law Director," 9/26/1997, Obituaries, p. 11B, and P. Morris, "The judge inspired, but he never knew," 9/30/1997, Editorials & Forum section, p. 9B.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Oldham County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about La Grange, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Capers, Eugenia "Jean" Marie Murrell Strode
NKAA Source: Plain dealer, The (newspaper) (Cleveland)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“White, Paul Dunbar,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 20, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-02-22 17:06:09