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 d├ętente. "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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