United States Army General. He was the son of a career infantry officer and was born in Madison Barracks, New York. Mark Wayne Clark grew up in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, near Fort Sheridan where is father was stationed. His aunt, Zettie Marshall, used her influence to secure his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He was often sickly causing hospitalization which set him behind his classmates. Nevertheless, even though a poor scholar, he managed to graduate 110th in a class of 139. He attained the rank of captain in 1917 and served in France during the first world war where he was wounded and later decorated for bravery. As World War II approached, Clark, then a lieutenant colonel began a meteoric rise in rank and assignments culminating as deputy commander in the North African Theater where he planned the invasion. He made a secret trip by submarine to the North African coast to meet with friendly French Officers in the Vichy government. During the invasion, Clark took into protective custody French Adm. Jean Darlan and induced him to renounce the Vichy government and cease all military action against the allies. He then went on to command the Fifth Army in the Italian Campaign then accepted the surrender of German forces in Italy and Austria. In the postwar, he was appointed chief of the U.S. occupation forces in Austria then returned to the U.S. serving as deputy to the U.S. secretary of state. He succeeded General Matthew Ridgeway as commander of the U.N. forces in Korea. On his arrival he was confronted with the military deadlock on the front lines and stalled Armistice negotiations with the North Koreans and their Chinese allies. Diplomacy finally prevailed and during the 159th session of delegates, an agreement was reached. He signed the peace document at the U.N. Command headquarters becoming the first U.S. commander to agree to an Armistice without victory. A disappointed Mark Clark relinquished his Far East command a year later and retired from the service. However, he then accepted the presidency of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. a historic military College originated before the Civil War. This was the most pleasant time of his life and he became enamored with the facility. He retired after twelve years and was honored by the college naming him president emeritus. During his tenure, he was asked by former President Herbert Hoover to chair a task force which investigated various intelligence agencies of the U.S. government. He wrote two volumes of memoirs: 'Calculated Risk and From the Danube to the Yalu.' Clark continued to live in Charleston until his death. He had asked to be buried on The Citadel campus. This required approval from the General Assembly of South Carolina which was forthcoming. After an elaborate military funeral at The Citadel, he was buried on campus at the site he had personally selected making him the only person ever accorded this honor. Postscript: His papers were donated to The Citadel and are kept at Daniel Library which also displays a portrait painted by his own daughter, Anne Clark Oosting. (posted as personal photo). In 1955, Gen Clark appeared on the popular television show 'This is Your Life' which was produced by Jan Miller, the wife of the noted artist David Humphreys Miller. Their meeting was instrumental in placement of eight murals in the Daniel Library painted by Miller depicting Citadel history including General Clark.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield