Thomas Lunsford Stokes, Jr. was a Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist.
Thomas Stokes was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 1, 1898, to Thomas Stokes and Emma Layton, both descendants of colonial families. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1920 afters 3 years.
He began his journalism career working as a reporter for Georgia newspapers and then moved to Washington in 1921, where he took dictation from reporters at United Press. He later worked as a copy editor and then as a reporter covering all aspects of Washington politics. He greeted the New Deal with enthusiasm and his coverage of the early days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration brought him to the attention of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, which hired him as its Washington correspondent in 1933.
In 1937, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America reprinted a series of his articles under the title Carpetbaggers of Industry to indict businesses that relocated to the South in search of lower-earning workers.
His coverage of FDR's administration grew more critical over time. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for investigating how Kentucky politicians had corrupted the Works Progress Administration to advance their own careers. He concluded the Kentucky WPA was "a grand political racket in which the taxpayer is the victim." Stokes and WPA Administrator Harry Hopkins traded charges for several days. Stokes explained why the WPA's investigation found fewer problems that he had: