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William Ramsey Clark (18 December 1927-9 April 2021) was United States Attorney General from 28 November 1966 to 20 January 1969, succeeding Nicholas Katzenbach and preceding John N. Mitchell.

Biography

William Ramsey Clark was born in Dallas, Texas on 18 December 1927, the son of Attorney General and US Supreme Court justice Tom C. Clark. He served in the US Marine Corps in Western Europe during World War II, became a lawyer in 1950, and practiced law at his father's firm before working for the Justice Department under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Clark became acting Attorney General in 1966 and was confirmed in 1967, and he became known as a staunch liberal. During his service in the Justice Department, Clark supervised the desegregation of "Ole Miss", the protection of the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the drafting and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and he left office in 1969. Clark then became active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and visited North Vietnam in 1972 to protest the bombing of Hanoi, and he also testified in the Chicago Seven trial. In 1974, he ran for the US Senate in New York while teaching at Brooklyn Law School, but he was defeated by Republican Jacob K. Javits. In 1979 and 1980, he made two unsuccessful attempts to visit Iran and convince Ayatollah Khomeini to put an end to the Iran hostage crisis. He later becmae an anti-death penalty, pro-civil liberties and civil rights, and pro-antitrust law activist, and he opposed the War on Terror and offered legal advice or defense to dictators such as Charles Taylor, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi, as well as the fascist leader Lyndon LaRouche. He died in New York City in 2021 at the age of 93, the last surviving member of Lyndon B. Johnson's cabinet.

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