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The Life and Career of Clarence Darrow : Corporate Lawyer

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Born April 18, 1857 in Kinsman, OH, Clarence Seward Darrow was an American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Darrow is probably best known for defending teenage thrill killers Leopold and Loeb in murder of 14-year old Bobby Franks and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called ''Monkey'' Trial. In the latter, he opposed statesman William Jennings Bryan. Darrow remains revered as one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians.

Darrow was first admitted to the profession under Judge Alfred W. Mackey as a lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. Afterward he moved to Chicago, Illinois, and became a corporate lawyer for a railroad company. He eventually switched sides to represent the leader of the American Railway Union in the Pullman Strike of 1894. Darrow had conscientiously resigned his corporate position in order to represent Debs, effectively becoming a labor lawyer in the process.

 
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In 1895, Darrow took on the first murder case of his career, defending Patrick Eugene Prendergast, a drifter who confessed to murdering Chicago mayor Carter H. Harrison, Sr. Darrow lost the case and Prendergast was executed that same year. Among the murder cases throughout Darrow's career, the Prendergast case would prove to be the only one resulting in an execution.

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