When Clark visited Iraq after Operation Desert Storm and returned to accuse the US of war crimes, Newsweek dubbed him the Jane Fonda of the Gulf war.
He was 39 when Johnson made him attorney general in 1967, the second-youngest ever – Robert Kennedy had been 36. The supreme court justice Tom Clark, Harry Truman’s attorney general before he joined the high court in 1949, swore in his son, then retired to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
He also defended the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The New York civil rights attorney Ron Kuby, who worked with Clark on numerous cases, said his death was “very, very sad in a season of losses”. “The progressive legal community has lost its elder dean and statesman,” Kuby said.
Ramsey Clark talks with President Lyndon B Johnson in the Oval Office in June 1968. Photograph: Frank Wolfe/AP. As Johnson’s attorney general, Clark had the job of prosecuting Dr Benjamin Spock for counseling Vietnam-era youths to resist the draft, a position with which he sympathized.
Clark took one shot at elective office, losing a 1976 Democratic Senate primary to Daniel P Moynihan. Clark ’s client list included such peace and disarmament activists as the Harrisburg seven and the Plowshares eight.
Ramsey Clark, who was attorney general in the Johnson administration before becoming an outspoken activist for unpopular causes and a harsh critic of US policy, has died. He was 93. Clark, whose father, Tom Clark, was attorney general and a supreme court justice, died on Friday at his Manhattan home, a family member announced.