POLK, FRANKLIN A. (26 April 1911-30 Oct. 1991), attorney and journalist, was the youngest president of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION (1948) and its first delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates for 12 years. In 1984, for "'improving the administration of justice,'" he received the American Judicature Society's highest honor, the Herbert Haley Citation. For his efforts in maintaining impartial federal juries, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers also honored him.
Polk was born in Cleveland to John and Mary (Cerny) Polk, natives of Czechoslovakia, and graduated from South High School in 1928. Polk graduated from JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY (1934) and from Cleveland Law School (1939). He worked as a claims attorney for the Traverlers Insurance Co. while in law school and in 1944 was associated with the firm of Walter & Haverfield. The youngest member of the Cleveland Board of Education (1944), the outspoken Polk ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for mayor against Mayor THOMAS A. BURKE in 1949. Remaining active in POLITICS, Polk managed the campaign of Ralph Perk for Cuyahoga County Auditor (1958). He edited the Buckeye Road and Luna Park News and corporate house organs and belonged to the CITY CLUB OF CLEVELAND. A delegate to the Ohio Bar Association House of Delegates for 40 years (the longest tenure in its history), he founded and presided over the Cleveland Academy of Trial Attorneys. Polk retired in August 1991.
On 20 June 1939 he married Julia Gabriel and the couple lived on Cleveland's east side with their 2 children, Loretta Gainor and Franklin G. At his death, Polk lived in INDEPENDENCE. He attended St. Michael Catholic Church there and is buried in All Saints Cemetery.