THE WRITING OF THIS BIOGRAPHY stretched out for more than twenty-five years, and during that time, many of the people to whom I am deeply indebted passed on. They include my mother, Mary Ramsey Clark, whose knowledge, insights, and love were crucial to the portrayal of my father; my husband, Tom Gronlund, who never lost faith in my ability to complete the work and without whose support I could not have succeeded; my father’s sisters Elizabeth Clark Capers and Mary Clark Burchfield, who provided unique perspectives as siblings of my father; three of his colleagues on the Supreme Court—Associate Justices William Brennan, Potter Stewart, and Byron White—who, because of their respect and friendship for my father, granted me the privilege of interviewing them; Alice O’Donnell, his devoted secretary and righthand assistant during most of his years at the Department of Justice and throughout his tenure on the Supreme Court; and Grace Stewart, later a judge, who was his secretary during his years as attorney general. I regret that all of these family members, friends, and colleagues who loved Tom Clark are not here to see the final product of an effort that they contributed to in important ways.
I am indebted to English professor Jeffrey Hammond for helping me improve my writing skills through a course he taught at George Mason University while I was working on my master’s in English, and to my colleagues at Northern Virginia Community College, who selected me to receive the Cecil Shuler Open Moment Fellowship. This award, established by NVCC dean Cecil Shuler at the time of his retirement, allowed me to travel to the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, where Tom Clark’s attorney general papers are kept. I am also indebted to Vincent R. Johnson, professor of law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, for his suggestions about and support of the biography.
My thanks go to the librarians at the Truman Library for their able