Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark dies at 93

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who made a name for himself defending a host of controversial high-profile clients after his two-year stint in former President Lyndon Johnson’s administration, died on Friday.

The Associated Press cited a family member while reporting that the 93-year-old Clark died at his Manhattan home.

Following two years in Johnson’s Cabinet, the Dallas-born Clark moved to New York and opened a private law practice where he represented plaintiffs in civil rights cases and championed those facing capital punishment while also taking on a range of unpopular clients.

On the roster of Clark’s clients are former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, whom Clark represented at a post-war trial before Hussein was executed, and Yugoslavian leader Slobodan Milošević, who was accused by the International Criminal Court of hampering its efforts to punish those responsible for the genocide of Bosnian Muslims.

Clark also previously defended a former concentration camp guard facing extradition from the U.S., Karl Linnas, as well as U.S. anti-war activists.

The New York Times noted that Clark worked to prevent housing and employment discrimination while in Johnson’s Cabinet and ordered a moratorium on federal executions.

The Times added that former President Nixon won applause on the campaign trial in 1968 by vowing to fire Clark and that Johnson blamed Clark for Nixon’s win.

“The progressive legal community has lost its elder dean and statesman,” Ron Kuby, a New York-based civil rights attorney, told the AP. “Over many generations, Ramsey Clark was a principled voice, conscience and a fighter for civil and human rights.” 


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