William Clark

Reagan's right-hand man

In 1981, Ronald Reagan asked his former aide William Clark to come to Washington and serve as Deputy Secretary of State. The confirmation hearing was a disaster. Tasked with helping tame the Soviets at the height of the Cold War, Clark couldn't even define détente. "I had to start pretty much from ground zero," he admitted after getting the job.

But the self-effacing Californian, who dropped out of two colleges and became a state supreme court judge despite not having a law degree, spent his career confounding expectations. His time in Washington was no different. Clark's rapport with Reagan earned him...

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