Former Iowa Senator Dick Clark, a Democrat, passed away at the age of 95, as announced by his family. Clark’s political career began in 1972 when he won a Senate seat by implementing an innovative campaign strategy – physically walking around the state of Iowa accompanied by his supporters. In the election, he defeated the incumbent Republican Jack Miller, who had served two terms. Clark’s focus during his term was centered around aiding Vietnam War refugees and opposing apartheid in Africa. Despite his victory in the 1972 election with 55% of the votes, he faced defeat during his re-election bid in 1978. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Following his tenure in the Senate, Clark was appointed as ambassador-at-large for a refugee crisis related to the Vietnam War by President Jimmy Carter. In this role, he collaborated with Congress to establish a refugee policy framework and provide assistance to refugees. Additionally, he joined the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization, where his work involved enhancing Congress members’ understanding of specific foreign policy matters. Clark also played a crucial role in restoring relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, facilitating meetings between officials from both nations.
Before entering the political arena, Clark served in the Army after being drafted and spent time in Europe from 1950 to 1952. He pursued his education at Upper Iowa University and the University of Iowa, obtaining bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Born on September 14, 1928, in the unincorporated community of Paris, Iowa, Clark hailed from a family that initially earned a living by selling eggs door to door and eventually opened a grocery store.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report, and further updates on this story are anticipated.