About the Book
Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, A Life of Service is the first biography of Tom C. Clark, Attorney General of the United States, 1945-49, and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1949-1967. Written from the perspective of a loving daughter, the biography provides important insight into the workings of the Supreme Court and the Justices who served on it during Tom Clark’s tenure—one of the most dynamic and controversial periods in Court history. The book also offers a rare look into the personal side of public life, portraying not only a dedicated public servant but a devoted family man and a friend and colleague beloved by many.
Tom Clark, a Texan, was the first Attorney General to work his way up through the ranks of the Department of Justice and served during the tumultuous early years of the Cold War. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman appointed him an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Viewed as a conservative, Clark was actually a “swing” voter who could not be placed into any ideological box. He was part of the unanimous Court that handed down the landmark decision Brown v. Board and wrote precedent-setting opinions on significant issues including one on school-prayer.
When his son, Ramsey, was appointed to Attorney General, Tom Clark retired from the Court to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest. His so-called “retirement” years were among the most productive of his life as he worked to improve the country’s administration of justice system.
Mimi Clark Gronlund’s biography of her father combines personal memories with historical events and professional accomplishments. While her affection and admiration for her father are clear, she does not avoid the controversy and criticism that he encountered during his life.
Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, A Life of Service is both informative and heart-warming. Anyone interested in American history, the Supreme Court, or the personal portrayal of a delightful human being will find it valuable reading.
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