Clark Clifford

Clark Clifford

American lawyer and statesman.
Date of Birth: 25.12.1906
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Clark Clifford
  2. Early Life and Career
  3. Naval Service and Advisor to Truman
  4. Legal Practice and Advisor to Kennedy
  5. Secretary of Defense and Opposition to Vietnam War
  6. Later Years and BCCI Scandal

Biography of Clark Clifford

Early Life and Career

Clark Clifford was an influential American lawyer and statesman. He was born in Fort Scott, Kansas and graduated from the University of Washington in St. Louis. From 1928 to 1943, he practiced law in St. Louis.

Clark Clifford

Naval Service and Advisor to Truman

In 1944, Clifford joined the Navy and served as an assistant to Harry Truman on maritime affairs, ultimately becoming his trusted advisor. From 1946 to 1950, he held the position of Special Counsel to the President. Clifford played a key role in Truman's 1948 re-election campaign, advising him to adopt a more left-leaning and populist image to attract votes away from the left-wing candidate Henry Wallace.

Clark Clifford

Legal Practice and Advisor to Kennedy

After leaving government service in 1950, Clifford returned to legal practice in Washington, D.C. and became an important advisor to Democratic politicians. One of his clients was then-Senator John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy won the presidency in 1961, he appointed Clifford as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In 1963, Clifford became the chairman of the board.

Secretary of Defense and Opposition to Vietnam War

Following the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Clifford frequently acted as an unofficial advisor to the president and occasionally carried out short-term official assignments. In 1968, President Johnson announced that Clark Clifford would replace Robert McNamara as the Secretary of Defense. Clifford continued McNamara's policies, including a widely publicized effort to reduce defense spending. The Department of Defense budget was $77.7 billion in 1969 and $75.5 billion in 1970. Clifford resigned from office when the Johnson administration ended in 1969.

Later Years and BCCI Scandal

After leaving government service, Clifford continued his legal practice and was regarded as one of Washington's "super lawyers" due to his influence and extensive connections. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed him as a special presidential envoy to India. In 1991, Clifford became embroiled in a massive financial scandal involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). It was discovered that BCCI, a major bank with strong political connections, was involved in massive financial fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, bribery, support for international terrorism, arms smuggling, and nuclear technology. Clifford served as the chairman of First American Bankshares, which was revealed to be secretly controlled by BCCI. He was accused of deliberately concealing this information from federal regulatory authorities. The U.S. Department of Justice initiated an investigation into Clifford's activities, and his assets were frozen. However, no formal charges were ever brought against Clifford due to his poor health. Clark Clifford passed away in 1998.