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Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a shining star of Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the first Black woman in the state elected to Congress. The late politician was born September 10, 1949.

Tubbs Jones remained in her hometown of Cleveland for her entire educational track, graduating from Case Western Reserve University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in social work, and earning a law degree three years later from Case Western Reserve’s law school.

In 1981, Tubbs Jones was elected to the Cleveland Municipal Court bench, and in 1983, she became the first Black woman to serve on the bench for the Court of Common Pleas in Cuyahoga County.

Tubbs Jones’ historic congressional run began in January 1999 where she quickly gained a reputation as a strong advocate for Cleveland residents, most especially its working class. Tubbs Jones served as congresswoman until her unfortunate and unexpected passing in 2008. Case Western Reserve University has established a scholarship in her honor for women of color, and a residence hall at the school also bears her name.

The Cleveland Clinic has honored Tubbs Jones after naming its health center after the beloved congresswoman, a facility that serves East Cleveland residents.

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