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Tom C. Clark

Awarding Clark the Distinguished Service Medal in 1967, National Commander John Edward Davis praised the retired Supreme Court justice and Legionnaire for "traveling around the country to improve the quality of justice" at a time when the nation was in turmoil over the Vietnam War. "This veteran of World War I, despite a busy career in law, has found time to perform great public service by sponsoring such ideas as the ‘Freedom Train,' which carried across the nation an exhibit of great historical documents. He also co-sponsored the ‘I Speak for Democracy' program in the nation's high schools."

Accepting the award on his father's behalf, Attorney General Ramsey Clark said, "He is a Legion member of three decades - proud of his association with you and your good works."

Clark worked his way through the ranks of the Department of Justice from 1937 to 1945, when President Truman named him attorney general. When the nationshifted to a Cold War posture, Truman appointed Clark to the Supreme Court, where he served from 1949 to 1967.

When his son, Ramsey, was named attorney general in 1967, Clark resigned from the High Court to avoid a conflict of interest.

A native Texan, Clark served in the National Guard, earned his law degree at the University of Texas, and practiced law in Dallas from 1922 to 1937.

Upon his retirement, Clark became chairman of the Federal Judicial Center, which Congress created to improve federal-court administration. He received some special assignments on various appellate courts until his death in 1977, at 77.

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