F. Dillard Stokes, 72, an award-winning jounalist with The Washington Post from 1936 who covered congressional investigations and the U.S. Supreme Court, died of a liver ailment Monday at Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria.
Mr. Stokes came to The Post to cover the congressional investigations of communist and fascist organizations. He won the 1942 Heywood Broun Award for a series exposing a Nazi propaganda network in the United States.
An attorney, Mr. Stokes later covered the Supreme Court. The late Justice William O. Douglas hailed him as "one of the best men covering the court in my time." Mr. Stokes won an a special Heywood Broun citation in 1947 which said his "brilliant reporting and penetrating analysis" of court decisions was "without parallel in American journalism."
He had been active in the Newspaper Guild and was a former chairman of its unit at The Post. He served two terms on Guild's executive committee and was president of the old Washington Newspaper Guild in 1943.
After leaving the Post in 1948, Mr. Stokes served for a time as a lawyer with the AFL-CIO's Political Action Committee, was an award-winning reporter for a newspaper in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was an assistant attorney general of the state of Iowa from 1969 to 1972.
Mr. Stokes was a native of Georgia and a graduate of Tulane University. He attended the University of Louisville's law school.
He began his journalism career while attending school. He was a reporter with the old New Orleans Item, and worked for the Associated Press and the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
Mr. Stokes also worked for newspapers in Chicago and Mobile, Ala., before coming to Washington in the 1930s to join the staff of the old Washington Herald.
He was the author of a book on the Social Security system, had contributed articles to Commentary, the National Review, and the American Mercury. He served in Army intelligence during World War II. a
Mr. Stokes, known to friends as "The Judge," was honored at a Front Page Awards dinner of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild earlier this year. He also was a member of the National Press Club and the American Legion.
Survivors include his wife, Jane, of Alexandria, where the family lives; a dauther, Delilah Foster of Bethesda; two sons, Lucky, of Alexandria, and Richard, of New Iberia, La., and five grandchildren.