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Clark, Grenville, 1882-1967



Grenville Clark was born on November 5, 1882 in New York City. He was the son of Louis Crawford Clark and Marian deForest Cannon. Clark graduated from Harvard College in 1903 and then from Harvard Law School in 1906. In 1909 he married Fanny Dwight and they had three daughters and one son. Clark was a founding partner of the corporate law firm Root, Clark and Bird in New York City. He was well known and respected in the inner circles of business, government, and education.

During World War I, Clark led the establishment of the Plattsburg Training Camps. Clark helped organize military preparedness for both World Wars, including drafting the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, helped draft the Economy Act of 1933, was the principal organizing force in the defeat of Roosevelt’s Supreme Court ‘packing’ plan in 1937, and was a confidential consultant to the United States Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, from 1940 to 1945. Clark also served as a Fellow of Harvard College, led the American Bar Association to create a Committee on the Bill of Rights to champion the protection of civil liberties and as the Association’s Chairman, wrote several influential amicus curiae briefs in significant cases.

Clark is best known for his involvement later in life with the World Federalist Movement to establish a world governing body with power over member nations. From World War II until his death, Clark’s principal effort was to achieve world peace through enforceable world law, the subject of his major work, "World Peace Through World Law", co-authored with Louis B. Sohn. During the height of the Cold War, Clark spoke and wrote in favor of a universal world organization that, in his view, would block otherwise inevitable nuclear conflict. During the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, Clark also helped to found the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Clark died on January 13, 1967 in Dublin, NH.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Collection of Civil War Papers (19th Army Corps)

Identifier: MS-907
Date(s): 1863 to 1865

Grenville Clark Collection of Civil War Paper. The collection consists of the administrative records of the 19th Army Corps, primarily of the 1st Division under the command of Brig. Gen. William Dwight.

Grenville Clark papers

Identifier: ML-7
Date(s): 1872 to 1972

Grenville Clark (1882-1967), attorney and writer. The papers document his career as a lawyer and include his work organizing military preparedness for both World Wars, his membership as a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, his work as a founding partner of a major New York corporate law firm, and his political activism and writings about the World Federalist Movement.

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