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

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

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

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“White, Paul Dunbar,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-02-22 17:06:09