Bennett Clark (Bennett Champ Clark)

Bennett Clark

The son of Champ Clark, a prominent Democratic Party leader of the early 20th century, Bennett Clark was born in Bowling Green, Missouri. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 1912, he earned an LL.B. at George Washington University. Bennett Clark became parliamentarian of the United States House of Representatives from 1913 to 1917. After serving as a colonel in the United States Army during World War I, from 1917 to 1919, Clark began practising law in St. Louis, Missouri. In the 1932 election, Clark was elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat. Clark entered the Senate after Senator Harry B. Hawes resigned on February 3, 1933, a month before his term was to end. Clark was re-elected in the 1938 election, but lost his bid for renomination in the 1944 election. Clark is perhaps most famous for declaring that Emperor Hirohito should be hanged as a war criminal on the senate floor on January 29, 1944. In the same year, he was the first senator to introduce the G.I. Bill proposal in U.S. Congress. When Congress began work on the G.I. Bill in 1944 it had originally expressed concern about possible misuse of the “Blue discharge” (now called an “Other Than Honorable discharge”). In testimony before the United States Senate, Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs strongly opposed the provision to include Veterans with Blue discharges on the grounds that it would undermine morale and remove any incentive to maintain a good service record. Senator Clark, a sponsor (writer) of the GI Bill, dismissed his concerns, calling them “some of the most stupid, short-sighted objections which could be raised”. On September 12, 1945, Bennett Clark was nominated by President Harry S. Truman to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated by the resignation of Thurman Arnold. Clark was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 24, 1945, and received his commission on September 28, 1945, serving thereafter until his death. He died in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on July 13, 1954, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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  • January, 08, 1890
  • USA
  • Bowling Green, Missouri


  • July, 13, 1954
  • USA
  • Gloucester, Massachusetts


  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • USA

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