The Life of John Stockley
John Stockley has had an extraordinary life, filled with challenges and triumphs. As a renowned author and attorney, his passion has been to promote civil rights.
His book Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Massacre of 1919 is an influential document that chronicles the story of the first African-American woman to be executed for murder. This case marked a landmark moment in American racial equality history, providing insight into a case which would shape future executions to come.
Early Life and Education
John Stockley was born to an illegitimate black American soldier and a white British mother during WWII in Weymouth, Dorset. He is one of Britain’s so-called Secret War Babies: an estimated 2,000 children born to African-American GIs and white British women during the conflict.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in 1972 and since has worked as a lawyer. Additionally, he has written several novels based on true events and people.
He married twice, the first time in 1892 to Violet Osborne, daughter of William Osborne (RHA); later he wed Marie Germaine Kolb whose father directed the Royal Botanic Gardens in Munich; they had one daughter together.
Stockley enjoyed a professional career that lasted 17 years, featuring appearances for Oxford United, Barnet, Colchester United and Wycombe Wanderers before his retirement in 2009.
Stockley moved to the US in 2011 and played for Carolina RailHawks of the USL as assistant coach to their First Team coach. Additionally, he worked as head coach of both teams within Capital Area Soccer League – U11-14 Girls Classic Division program director and ECNL U14 & 16 Girls head coach – respectively.
In June 2013, Stockley went on trial for the death of Smith. At the trial, testimony included witnesses from the restaurant and nightclub where it occurred, five police officers, as well as video evidence of the shooting.
Achievements and Honors
John Stockley’s long and distinguished career as an attorney and author culminated in many remarkable accomplishments. Most notably, however, was his unique ability to blend legal jargon with storytelling techniques.
He authored several influential books, such as his series of Gideon Page novels which earned him Arkansas’ top literary honor. Other literary accomplishments included an insightful historical account of the Elaine Race Massacre and a history of Negro Boys Industrial School fire in 1959. Despite all his accolades, Stockley’s most significant contribution to civil rights advocacy lay in his lifelong commitment to creating a more just and equitable society. Among other accomplishments he did for this cause, Stockley wrote and published numerous books, served as first staff attorney for Arkansas branch of American Civil Liberties Union, and served as staff attorney for that organization until 1990.
John Stockley is a lawyer and author who has penned numerous novels as well as non-fiction works. His works have been compared to those of John Grisham and Richard North Patterson, among other acclaimed authors.
John was raised with his grandparents in a village near Chesil Beach. But life for John wasn’t always perfect.
During the Second World War, 240,000 African American GIs were stationed in Britain. Many were billeted in guest houses.
On Channel 4’s documentary Britain’s Secret War Babies, two GI babies – Mary Phillips from South Wales and John Stockley from Weymouth – embark on an emotional search to locate their fathers with help from journalist Sean Fletcher, himself of mixed race descent.
Stockley was born to English and Irish parents in Denver, Colorado as the second of four children. As a boy he always had an affinity for animals; later he and his wife Carol raised cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens and geese on a small farm southwest of Brighton with his partner Carol. John enjoyed country music, working outdoors with his tractor and watching sports – until 2014 when he passed away at 85 years old surrounded by his beloved wife Carol, sons John and Dylan as well as grandchildren he loved so much.
Stockley began his writing career as a lawyer in the late 1970s. His first book, A History of Arkansas, became a bestseller and is an important document in Arkansas history. He followed with several other novels featuring Gideon Page as a lawyer protagonist. Additionally, Stockley produced works on race in Arkansas such as a biography of Daisy Bates and an account of the Elaine Race Massacre.