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*The birth of Dr. Juanita Kidd Stout in 1919 is marked on this date. She was a Black educator, lawyer, and in 1959 was one of the first Black women in America to be elected to be a judge.
Born in Wewoka, Oklahoma she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa, and taught music in the high schools at Seminole and Sand Springs, Oklahoma, prior to pursuing a career in law. She later received the J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Indiana University. Moving east and after practicing law for five years, she joined the District Attorney’s office in Philadelphia, serving as Assistant District Attorney and later as Chief of Appeals, Pardons and Paroles.
In 1959, she was elected Judge of the Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia and was reelected in 1969 and 1979, both times receiving the highest vote of the Philadelphia Bar Association with respect to judicial qualifications. Stout, known as a tireless, relentless public servant, believed in the value of education and loyalty to the law of the land. During the sixties she gained national recognition for her vigorous fight against crime and all aspects of juvenile delinquency. She was a champion of justice, whose actions were tempered with quiet encouragement and counsel she gave to the hundreds of young men and women who appeared in her court.
Stout received many awards, including "Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year,” National Association of Women Lawyers, 1965; "Outstanding alumni Award" from the Oklahoma State University 4-H Club, 1967; the "National 4-H Alumni Recognition Award,"1968; and the "Good Citizen Award" from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in 1971. President John Kennedy appointed her as a Special Ambassador to the Kenya Independence Celebration in 1964, and in 1967, under the State Department’s Cultural Exchange Program, she toured six African countries and lectured at law schools, colleges, high schools, and civic groups.
She served as a forum member of the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and was constantly in demand as a public speaker. She wrote numerous articles and was the subject of articles in Time, Life, the Wall Street Journal, and Reader’s Digest. During her years on the bench, she tried hundreds of cases, including the notorious 1993 murder case involving Ira Einhorn. Juanita Kidd Stout passed away in 1998.
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078-7043