Martin was born in London and educated at Haileybury and the London College of Printing. He completed National Service in the Royal Engineers, was commissioned and appointed OBE. He served in and commanded the Honourable Artillery Company earning the Territorial Decoration, and was appointed in 1999 Honorary Colonel of 135 Independent Topographic Squadron RE (Volunteers). In 1985, Martin was elected as Alderman to the City of London, and served as Sheriff of the City of London in 1996 and Lord Mayor of London for 1999-2000. He has also served as Vice-Chair of the City of London Magistrates Court.
Martin is an active English Freemason, who served from 2006-2007 in the very senior post of Junior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England. He was initiated in 'British Lodge' No 8 in 1984 and served as Master in the 'Lodge of Assistance' No 2773.
He is Chairman of MPG Ltd., a graphics communications business. In 2009, he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of the Arts London, and is listed as an alumnus of the London College of Communication.
- "Strategic Partnerships - London". FIRST. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- "Honorary Fellows and Doctorates". University of the Arts London. 2009. Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Happy Birthday Sir Clive Martin". The Stationers' Company. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
- "Lord Mayors of the City of London from 1991" (PDF). cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/homepage.htm. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Alumni Profiles". London College of Communication. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Beckett, Andy (24 November 1999). "Lord of the ring of steel". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- Treanor, Jill (11 November 1999). "Sharing out the capital". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Thousands cheer Lord Mayor". BBC News. 13 November 1999. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
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