Thomas Campbell Clark (September 23, 1899 – June 13, 1977), who preferred Tom C. Clark, was a Texas lawyer who served as the 59th United States Attorney General from 1945 to 1949. He was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1949 to 1967.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Clark graduated from the University of Texas School of Law after serving in World War I. He practiced law in Dallas until 1937, when he accepted a position in the United States Department of Justice. After Harry S. Truman became President of the United States in 1945, he chose Clark as his Attorney General. In 1949, Truman successfully nominated Clark to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Associate Justice Frank Murphy. Clark remained on the court until his retirement in 1967, and was succeeded by Thurgood Marshall. Clark retired so that his son, Ramsey Clark, could assume the position of Attorney General.
Clark served on the Vinson Court and the Warren Court. He voted with the Court's majority in the several cases concerning racial segregation, including the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. He wrote the majority opinion in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, which upheld the public accommodations provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He also wrote the majority opinion in Garner v. Board of Public Works, Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, and Abington School District v. Schempp.
Clark was found to have died in his sleep in New York City on June 13, 1977, in his son's apartment. He was interred in Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.
The University of Texas's School of Law in Austin maintains an extensive collection (524 linear feet) of Clark's papers, including his Supreme Court files. The law school also names the student lounge after Clark, and awards a sizeable tuition subsidy for selected students in his honor. A smaller collection of Clark's papers, primarily relating to his years as Attorney General, is located at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.
Other buildings named after Justice Clark include Tom C. Clark Building in Austin, which houses some offices of the Texas Judiciary, and Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, Texas' Northside Independent School District. His former law clerks honored him by creating the Tom C. Clark award given to the outstanding Supreme Court Fellow each year. Recipients have included Professor Robert George (McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, at Princeton University) and Professor Barbara A. Perry (Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and former Carter Glass Professor of Government at Sweet Briar College).