Champ Clark

Champ Clark
James Beauchamp Clark
41st Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
April 4, 1911 – March 4, 1919[1]
President William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Joseph G. Cannon
Succeeded by Frederick Gillett
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895
March 4, 1897 – March 2, 1921[1]
Preceded by Seth W. Cobb
William M. Treloar
Succeeded by William M. Treloar
Theodore W. Hukriede
Personal details
Born March 7, 1850
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Died March 2, 1921
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Genevieve Davis Bennett Clark[2]
Alma mater Bethany College
University of Cincinnati College of Law
Profession Law
Religion Disciples of Christ[3]

James Beauchamp Clark best known as Champ Clark (March 7, 1850 – March 2, 1921) was a prominent American politician in the Democratic Party from the 1890s until his death. A Representative of Missouri from 1893 to 1895 and from 1897 to 1921, he served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1911 to 1919. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1912.[1]



Clark was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, to John Hampton Clark and Aletha Beauchamp. Through his mother he was the first cousin twice removed of the famous lawyer turned murderer Jereboam O. Beauchamp. He graduated from Bethany College (West Virginia), and Cincinnati Law School and moved to Missouri in 1875, and opened a law practice the following year. He eventually settled in Bowling Green, Missouri, the county seat of Pike County, from where he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1892. After a surprise loss in 1894 to William M. Treloar, he regained the seat in 1896, and remained in the House until his death, the day before leaving office.

Clark ran for House Minority Leader in 1903, but was defeated by John Sharp Williams of Mississippi. After Williams ran for the Senate in 1908, Clark ran again for the position and won. When the Democrats won control of the House in 1911, Clark became Speaker.

In 1912, Clark was the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, coming into the convention with a majority of delegates pledged to him. But he failed to receive the necessary two-thirds of the vote on the first several ballots. After lengthy negotiation, clever management by supporters of New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, together with widespread allegations of influence by special interests, delivered the nomination instead to Wilson.

Clark's Speakership was notable for two things: First, Clark's skill from 1910 to 1914 in maintaining party unity to block William Howard Taft's legislation and then pass Wilson's; and second, Clark's splitting of the party in 1917 and 1918 when he opposed Wilson's decision to bring the United States into World War I.

In addition, Clark opposed the Federal Reserve Act, which concentrated financial power in the hands of eastern banks (mostly centered in New York City). Clark's opposition to the Federal Reserve Act is said to be the reason why Missouri is the home of two Federal Reserve Banks (one in St. Louis and one in Kansas City).

Clark was defeated in the Republican landslide of 1920, and died shortly thereafter in his home in Washington, DC.

Clark's son Joel Bennett Clark served as a United States Senator from Missouri from 1933 to 1945.


  • Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes. American National Biography, vol. 4, "Clark, Champ". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.

External links


Party political offices
Preceded by
John Sharp Williams
Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
Succeeded by
James Robert Mann
Preceded by
James Robert Mann
Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Claude Kitchin
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph G. Cannon
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
April 4, 1911 – March 4, 1913;
April 7, 1913 – March 4, 1915;
December 6, 1915 – March 4, 1917;
April 2, 1917 – March 4, 1919
Succeeded by
Frederick H. Gillett

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Champ Clark — (1915) James Beauchamp „Champ“ Clark (* 7. März 1850 in Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky; † 2. März 1921 in Washington, D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker der Demokratischen Partei, Mitglied des US Repräsenta …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Champ Clark Bridge — The Champ Clark Bridge looking east Carries 2 lanes of US 54 Crosses Mississippi River Locale …   Wikipedia

  • Champ Clark Bridge — 39.456666666667 91.047777777778 Koordinaten: 39° 27′ 24″ N, 91° 2′ 52″ W f1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bennett Champ Clark — Infobox Officeholder honorific prefix = name = Bennett Champ Clark honorific suffix = imagesize = 150px small caption = credited to the United States Senate Historical Office order = office = United States Senator (Class 3) from Missouri state =… …   Wikipedia

  • Bennett Champ Clark — Joel Bennett Clark Joel Bennett Clark (* 8. Januar 1890 in Bowling Green, Pike County, Missouri; † 13. Juli 1954 in Gloucester, Massachusetts), ferner unter dem Namen Bennett Champ Clark bekannt, war ein US amerikanischer Politiker der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clark (Familienname) — Clark ist ein englischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name entspricht dem neuenglischen clerk und damit in etwa dem deutschen Namen Schreiber. Varianten Clarke, Clerke Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clark Bridge — Not to be confused with the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky. Clark Bridge View from West Alton, MO Other name(s) Clark Superbridge …   Wikipedia

  • Clark, Champ — orig. James Beauchamp Clark (7 mar. 1850, cerca de Lawrenceburg, Ky., EE.UU.–2 mar. 1921, Washington, D.C.). Político estadounidense. Se trasladó a Missouri en 1876 y se estableció en Bowling Green. Fue director de diario, fiscal y legislador del …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Clark Kent (Smallville) — Clark Kent Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans Smallville …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Clark — Clark, Alvan Clark, John Maurice Clark, Mark Wayne * * * (as used in expressions) Clark Fork, río Clark, Champ James Beauchamp Clark Clark, Dick Richard Wagstaff Clark Clark, George Rogers …   Enciclopedia Universal

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