Clark McAdams Clifford

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Clifford, Clark McAdams,

1906–98, U.S. government official, b. Fort Scott, Kans. Admitted to the bar in 1928, he engaged in private practice before serving (1944–46) in the U.S. navy. As special adviser (1946–50) to President Harry S. TrumanTruman, Harry S.,
1884–1972, 33d President of the United States, b. Lamar, Mo. Early Life and Political Career

He grew up on a farm near Independence, Mo., worked at various jobs, and tended the family farm.
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, Clifford was influential in foreign policy, defense, and labor matters; he helped to formulate the Truman Doctrine (1947) and the legislation that created (1949) the Department of Defense. He also planned Truman's successful 1948 campaign strategy. After another period of private law practice, Clifford served (1961–63) as a foreign policy adviser to President John F. KennedyKennedy, John Fitzgerald,
1917–63, 35th President of the United States (1961–63), b. Brookline, Mass.; son of Joseph P. Kennedy. Early Life

While an undergraduate at Harvard (1936–40) he served briefly in London as secretary to his father, who was
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 and then became (1963) chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In this capacity he supervised all U.S. espionage operations and played a crucial role in determining U.S. policy in Vietnam. As Secretary of Defense (1968–69) in Lyndon B. JohnsonJohnson, Lyndon Baines,
1908–73, 36th President of the United States (1963–69), b. near Stonewall, Tex. Early Life

Born into a farm family, he graduated (1930) from Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Southwest Texas State Univ.), in San Marcos.
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's cabinet, Clifford came to oppose further American participation in the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
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, concluding that it was unwinnable. He went on to become a wealthy corporate lawyer. Clifford was chairman (1982–91) of First American Bankshares, which was secretly and illegally owned by the foreign Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In 1992 he was indicted on charges stemming from BCCI's secret ownership of First American, but the charges were dismissed (1993) for health reasons.


See his autobiography (1991); see also D. Frantz and D. McKean, Friends in High Places (1995).

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References in periodicals archive ?
And of no one was this truer than of Clark McAdams Clifford, who did to himself what no one else could have done: He destroyed his own good name.