1850–1921, American legislator, b. near Lawrenceburg, Ky. His full name was James Beauchamp Clark. After a career as lawyer, newspaper editor, and politician in Missouri, he was (1893–95, 1897–1921) a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming (1907) Democratic leader. He organized (1910) the successful fight against Speaker Joseph Cannon and his arbitrary control of legislative procedure. Clark served as speaker from 1911 to 1919. At the Democratic convention in 1912 he was the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President until William Jennings Bryan shifted his support to Woodrow Wilson.
See his autobiographical My Quarter Century of American Politics (1920, repr. 1969).
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