J. Reuben Clark

The Public Years


In the field of legal education, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., is identified with a vigorous young law school established in his name at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Among students of diplomatic history he is recognized primarily as the author of the Clark Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine, which presaged the renunciation of U.S. military intervention in Latin America during the 1930s. By Utahns, and Mormons generally, he is still well remembered as a towering figure in the Church—counselor to three Church Presidents from 1933 until his death in 1961. Many yet living were once moved by his powerful sermons, inspired and enlightened by his New Testament scholarship, and stimulated (or provoked) by his strong, oft-expressed views on political and social questions. To members of the Church his most important work occurred after 1933. To the country at large, however, his most significant legacy may be nearly three decades of distinguished public service rendered prior to accepting the call of his church.

This biography of J. Reuben Clark, Jr., focuses on the public years outside Utah—from his matriculation as a thirty-two-year-old law student at Columbia University in 1903 to his resignation as United States ambassador to Mexico in 1933. The book, some six-hundred pages plus bibliography and footnotes, is the first part of an official biography authorized by the Clark family and trustees of the Clark estate. Besides a volume by D. Michael Quinn scheduled for publication in 1982 and covering President Clark’s service as a General Authority of the Church, the biographical set will also include three volumes of papers, selected and edited by David H. Yarn, Jr., who is the general editor of the series.

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