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The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

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AboutAbout Tom Clark

Clark, Tom C. (Thomas Campbell), 1899-1977

Justice Tom C. Clark

Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court,
1949 -1967.

Box 171, Folder 60.

Tom C. Clark is, to date, the only Texan who has ever served on the Supreme Court of the United States. Born in Dallas, Texas, September 23, 1899, Clark received his law degree from the University of Texas in 1922. He joined the Justice Department in 1937 and rose through the ranks. President Truman appointed him U.S. Attorney General in 1945. In 1949, Truman appointed Clark to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Clark resigned from the Court in 1967 when his son Ramsey Clark was appointed Attorney General, and afterwards sat on the Courts of Appeal in all eleven U.S. Circuits and in federal district court. On the court, Clark was a staunch supporter of civil rights. He was also well-known for his support of anticommunist policies during the Cold War. Clark's greatest legacy is in his tireless efforts to improve judicial administration. He chaired several American Bar Association committees on judicial administration, helped found the National Judicial College, and was the first director of the Federal Judicial Center. In his remarks at a 1985 symposium on the Tom C. Clark Papers, UT Chancellor Mark Yudof said of Clark, "In life, he awakened a generation of lawyers and judges to their professional responsibilities."

The Handbook of Texas Online: Tom Clark

Born in Dallas, September 23.
Received law degree from The University of Texas. Began practice with his father's law firm in Dallas.
Appointed Civil District Attorney for Dallas County.
Began law partnership with William McGraw.
Appointed an assistant to the U.S. Attorney General in the Roosevelt Administration. Assigned to the War Risk Litigation Section; never lost a case. Transferred to the Antitrust Division.
Coordinated the internment of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. Although supportive at the time for security reasons, he later called his involvement one of the biggest mistakes of his life: "We picked them up and put them in concentration camps. I am amazed that the Supreme Court ever approved it."
Appointed Assistant Attorney General. In charge of the Antitrust Division; in charge of the Criminal Division; argued and won his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appointed Attorney General by President Truman.

Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Truman.
Chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of Judicial Administration.
Chairman of the American Bar Association's Joint Committee for the Effective Administration of Justice.
Retired from the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid any appearance of conflict arising out of President Johnson's appointment of his son Ramsey Clark as Attorney General.
Traveled extensively in support of the improvement of the judicial system and its administration. Sat on the Courts of Appeal in all eleven Circuits. Sat as trial judge in U.S. District Courts.
Appointed the first Director of the Federal Judicial Center.
Died in New York City, June 13.


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