Chuck Stone

In this Feb. 15, 1984, file photo, newspaper columnist Chuck Stone poses in the newsroom of the Daily News in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/File)

Legendary journalist Chuck Stone once commanded such trust that more than 75 criminal suspects surrendered to him rather than to law enforcement officials.

According to his biography on the National Association of Black Journalists website, “Because of his reputation for integrity, Stone became a trusted middleman between Philadelphia police and murder suspects, more than 75 of whom ‘surrendered’ to Stone rather than to the cops.”

Stone, a former Philadelphia Daily News columnist, founding member, first president of the National Association of Black Journalist and former Tuskegee Airman, died in his sleep early Sunday morning at an assisted-living home in Farmington, N.C., relatives said. He was 89.

Stone was a columnist for the Daily News from 1972 to 1991, one of the few early African-Americans with a column in a mainstream newspaper.

During his time as a columnists with the Daily News, Stone was known for his trademark bow ties and bright smile yet many Philadelphia public figures were the targets of Stone’s biting wit and stinging commentary.

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