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Robert G. Clark Jr.
*Robert Clark was born on this date in 1928. He is a retired Black politician and American Civil Rights activist.
Robert G. Clark, Jr. was born in Mississippi and he received his undergraduate degree from Jackson State University and a master’s degree in Administration and Educational Services from Michigan State University. Clark was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967. He was the first Black elected to the Mississippi State Legislature since the Reconstruction era.
In 1977 he became the first Black committee chairman in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He was named to head the all-important Education Committee, a position he held for ten pivotal years of change and reform in Mississippi's educational system. He was at the helm of the Education Committee when the House passed the highly acclaimed 1982 Education Reform Act, as well as the 1984 Vocational Education Reform Act. In 1992, he was elected as Speaker Pro Tempore. He was re-elected to that position in 1996 session and again in 2000.
When he retired from the Mississippi House of Representatives in December 2003, he was the longest-serving member in continuous House service. His son, Bryant Clark, succeeded him in office. In 2004 he became the first Black to have a Mississippi state building named after him. As a legislator Clark was known not as a politician but a statesman.