Wesley K. Clark

Soldier / Political Figure

Born: 23 December 1944
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: Former NATO commander and presidential hopeful
Wesley Kanne Clark is the former U.S. Army general who ran as a Democratic candidate for the presidency in the 2004 election. Clark grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and, at the age of 16, started at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated first in his class. He also earned a graduate degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and commanded fighting troops in Vietnam, where he was injured three times. During the '80s and '90s he moved up the military ladder and served as and administrator in training and command posts, eventually becoming a four-star general. In 1997 he was named as the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe by President Bill Clinton. In 1999 Clark was in charge of the NATO victory in Kosovo over the forces of Slobodan Milosevic, but in 2000 he retired after 34 years in the army (some stories have it that he was forced to retire). Clark entered the private sector as an author, consultant and investment banker, a highly decorated soldier and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D. C. in 2001, Clark was a frequent guest commentator on television, emerging in 2003 as a strong critic of President George W. Bush's military policy in the Middle East. Clark bowed out of the presidential race on 11 February 2004, after winning the Oklahoma primary on February 3rd but finishing far back in other state results.

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