Ramsey Clark is one of the most respected and acclaimed lawyers in the United States in past fifty years. He served as the 66th United States Attorney-General from 1967 to 1969 (Minister of Justice) and in 2008 he was awarded the prestigious United Nations Human Rights Prize for his lifelong commitment to the struggle to ensure respect for human rights everywhere and for everyone.
Ramsey Clark was born on 8 December 1927 in Dallas, Texas to Mary Jane Ramsey and Tom C. Clark. His father also served as United States Attorney-General and then as a Justice of the Supreme Court. Ramsey Clark served in the United States Marine Corps in 1945 and 1946 before taking a B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.A. in political science and his J.D. from the University of Chicago.
Since 1950 he has practiced law in the United States representing governments, heads of states, and numerous individuals in civil rights cases. From 1951 to 1961, Clark was an associate and partner in the law firm of Clark, Reed and Clark and from 1961 to 1967 he served the US Department of Justice, first as the Assistant Attorney-General of the Lands Division and then as Deputy Attorney-General before US President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated him to become the 66th Attorney-General of the United States. Ramsey Clark served as Attorney General until President Johnson left office on 20 January 1969 becoming well-known for his role in preserving the highest standards of civil rights at one of the most challenging times in United States history.
Since leaving public office Ramsey Clark has been a tireless advocate for civil rights. His defence of persons whose rights are violated by the United States government, both in and outside the United States, has made him one of the most well-known human rights defenders in the world.
Ramsey Clark has spoken out against the United States interference in South America. He has supported President Evo Morales efforts to make Bolivia independent of the coercive influence of the United States and criticized US actions against Bolivia, calling them illegal and unwarranted.
In addition the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize, his contributions to human rights and pace throughout the world have also earned him the Gandhi Peace Award and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.