Edward A. Clark

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Edward A. Clark
United States Ambassador to Australia
In office
1965–1967
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by William C. Battle
Succeeded by William H. Crook
Personal details
Born (1906-07-15)July 15, 1906
San Augustine, Texas
Died September 16, 1992(1992-09-16) (aged 86)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Metcalfe
Alma mater Tulane University;
University of Texas
Profession Lawyer, Diplomat

Edward Aubrey Clark (July 15, 1906 – September 16, 1992),[1] served as the United States Ambassador to Australia from 1965 to 1968.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Edward Aubrey Clark was born in San Augustine, Texas, son of John David Clark and Leila Elizabeth Downs Clark. He obtained his first degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.[1] In 1927, Clark married Anne Metcalfe of Greenville, Mississippi, heir to the largest cotton plantation system in the South.

Clark received a law degree in 1928 from the University of Texas. After leaving law school, Clark became a county attorney in San Augustine. In 1932, he moved to Austin and served as assistant attorney general of Texas.[1]

In 1935, Clark became assistant to Governor James Allred. Soon after, he met Lyndon B. Johnson and the two men became close friends. Governor Allred appointed Clark secretary of state in 1937. The following year, Clark opened a private law practice with Everett Looney.[1] He also worked as a political lobbyist for the oil industry. One of his main clients was Big Oil, a company owned by Clint Murchison and Wofford Cain. He was also a member of the Texas Guard.

After Pearl Harbor, Clark joined the United States Army. During the Second World War, he served as a captain in the Quartermaster Corps. Clark then returned to Austin. In 1944, Clark recruited Don Thomas and his law firm became known as Clark, Thomas and Winters. Over the next few years, it became one of the most influential and successful firms in Texas. Clark also served as chairman of Texas Commerce Bank of Austin and the First National Bank of San Augustine.[1]

In 1948, Clark was appointed as Lyndon Johnson's legal counsel when Coke Stevenson contested Johnson's seventy-one-vote victory in the United States Senate race. He remained active in the Democratic Party and was associated with those opposed to the liberal elements led by Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Lyndon Johnson became president. In 1965, Johnson appointed Clark as the country's ambassador to Australia.[1]

In the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign, he supported Richard Nixon over George McGovern. In 1974, Nixon appointed Clark to the General Advisory Committee of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Later, Clark supported Ronald Reagan in his campaign to become president.[1]

Allegations of involvement in Kennedy assassination[edit]

In 2003, Barr McClellan, an attorney who had been employed by Clark's law firm in Austin, published Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK that charged Johnson and Clark were conspirators in the assassination of Kennedy.[3][4] According to McClellan, one of the senior partners in the firm told him that Clark had arranged the assassination.[3][4]

McClellan repeated his allegations in a 2003 episode of Nigel Turner's ongoing documentary television series, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, broadcast on The History Channel.[5] Former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter protested, and former LBJ staffers Bill Moyers and Jack Valenti asked The History Channel to investigate the charges. On April 2, 2004, after having three historians examine the charges, The History Channel issued a press release stating that the claim of LBJ's complicity "is entirely unfounded and does not hold up to scrutiny.... [The show] fell short of the high standards that the network sets for itself. The History Channel apologizes to its viewers and to Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson and her family for airing the show."[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Edward Aubrey Clark from the Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ Clark, Anne. Australian Adventure. University of Texas Press, 1969, p. 6.
  3. ^ a b Mayer, Jane (September 22, 2003). "Explain This One". The New Yorker. New York. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Publishers Weekly (October 1, 2003). "Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.". http://www.publishersweekly.com. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 6, 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ Weber, Bruce (February 5, 2004). "Moyers and Others Want History Channel Inquiry Over Film That Accuses Johnson". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. W.W. Norton & Company. p. 925. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William C. Battle
United States Ambassador to Australia
1965–1967
Succeeded by
William H. Crook