Clark, D. Worth (David Worth), 1902-1955

Alternative names
Birth 1902-04-02
Death 1955-06-19

Biographical notes:

U.S. Representative and Senator from Idaho.

From the description of D. Worth Clark papers, 1935-1950 (Boise State University). WorldCat record id: 690055129

David Worth Clark, U.S. Representative and Senator from Idaho, was born on April 2, 1902, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the son of David Worth Clark, Sr., and his wife Nellie. Clark came from a family active in Democratic politics; two of his uncles, Barzilla Worth Clark and Chase A. Clark, served as Governors of Idaho. D. Worth Clark graduated from Notre Dame University and received a law degree from Harvard. He returned to Idaho to practice law, and after two years as assistant attorney general of Idaho, was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1934. He was reelected in 1936. He took a strong stand against President Roosevelt's plan to expand the Supreme Court and was seen as a protege of Idaho Senator William E. Borah in his foreign policy views.

In 1938 he challenged sitting U.S. Senator James P. Pope for the Democratic nomination and defeated Pope in the primary election. He was then elected to the Senate in the Fall. In the Senate, Clark was highly critical of President Roosevelt's foreign policy and earned a reputation as an isolationist. He opposed the Lend-Lease bill and became a spokesman for the America First Committee, advocating strict neutrality and opposing what he saw as America's drift into World War II. He spoke out for neutrality as Notre Dame's commencement speaker in 1940, and, with Charles A. Lindbergh and Lillian Gish, headlined a huge America First rally in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in June 1941. Clark sought reelection to the Senate in 1944 but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Glen Taylor.

After his defeat he worked in Washington, D.C., as a lawyer. He went to China in 1948 as a consultant for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to assess the military and economic situation there in the midst of civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists. Clark's trip highly publicized and his report was much anticipated as a guide to U.S. aid efforts. He returned to the political fray in 1950, defeating incumbent Senator Glen Taylor in the Democratic primary, but was defeated by Herman Welker in the general election in November. He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1954 and died there in 1955.

From the guide to the D. Worth Clark Papers, 1935-1950, (Boise State University Library Special Collections and Archives)


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Ark ID:


  • Political Campaigns
  • United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interstate Commerce. Subcommittee Investigating Wire Tapping
  • Elections--Idaho
  • Neutrality
  • Democratic Party (Idaho)
  • Salmon River (Idaho)
  • International relations
  • Elections
  • Wiretapping--United States
  • America First Committee
  • Wiretapping
  • Neutrality--United States
  • National Geographic Society (U.S.)
  • Idaho


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • Idaho (as recorded)
  • Salmon River (Idaho) (as recorded)