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Joe Clark

16th Prime Minister of Canada
In office
June 4, 1979 – March 3, 1980
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Pierre Trudeau
Succeeded by Pierre Trudeau
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Rocky Mountain
In office
January 4, 1973 – March 26, 1979
Preceded by Allen Sulatycky
Succeeded by None (district abolished)
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Yellowhead
In office
October 9, 1978 – September 8, 1993
Preceded by None (district created)
Succeeded by Cliff Breitkreuz
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Kings—Hants
In office
September 11, 2000 – October 22, 2000
Preceded by Scott Brison
Succeeded by Scott Brison
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary Centre
In office
January 29, 2001 – May 23, 2004
Preceded by Eric Lowther
Succeeded by Lee RichardsonLee Richardson
Personal details
Born June 5, 1939 (1939-06-05) (age 82)
High River, Alberta
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Maureen McTeer
Children Catherine Clark
Residence Calgary, Alberta
Alma mater University of Alberta
Occupation Journalist, Businessman, Professor

Charles Joseph "Joe" Clark, PC CC AOE (born June 5, 1939) is a Canadian elder statesman, businessman, writer, and politician who served as the 16th Prime Minister of Canada, from June 4, 1979 to March 3, 1980.

Despite his relative inexperience, Clark rose quickly in federal politics, entering the House of Commons in the 1972 election and winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1976. He came to power in the 1979 election, defeating the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau and ending sixteen years of continuous Liberal rule. Taking office the day before his 40th birthday, Clark is the youngest person to become Prime Minister. His tenure was brief as he only won a minority government, and it was defeated on a motion of non-confidence. Clark's Progressive Conservative Party lost the 1980 election and Clark lost the leadership of the party in 1983.

He returned to prominence in 1984 as a senior cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney's cabinet, retiring from politics after not standing for re-election for the House of Commons in 1993. He made a political comeback in 1998 to lead the Progressive Conservatives in their last stand before the party's eventual dissolution, serving his final term in Parliament from 2000 to 2004. Clark today serves as a university professor and as president of his own consulting firm.

Early years

Charles Joseph Clark was born in High River, Alberta, the son of Grace Roselyn (née Welch) and local newspaper publisher Charles A. Clark.

Education, journalism, marriage

Clark attended local schools and the University of Alberta, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history (1960) and a master's degree in political science (1973). While in high school, he gained journalism experience with the High River Times and the Calgary Albertan. In his first year at the University of Alberta, Clark joined the staff of the campus newspaper Gateway and eventually became editor-in-chief. Clark was also a member of the University of Alberta Debate Society (UADS). He later worked one summer at the Edmonton Journal where he met his future biographer, David L. Humphreys. He also worked one summer with The Canadian Press in Toronto, and for a time seriously considered a career in journalism.

Clark then attended Dalhousie Law School. However, he spent more time with the Dalhousie Student Union, Progressive Conservative politics and the Dalhousie Gazette, than on his courses. After leaving Dalhousie, he unsuccessfully pursued first-year law studies at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law in Vancouver. Clark again became active in student politics, serving as president of the Progressive Conservative Youth wing for two terms. He then worked full-time for the Progressive Conservative Party.

In 1973, Clark married law student Maureen McTeer. They met when Clark hired her to work in his parliamentary office; McTeer had been a political organizer herself since her early teens. McTeer has developed her own career as a well-known author and lawyer, and caused something of a fuss by keeping her maiden name after marriage. That practice was not common at the time. Their daughter, Catherine has pursued a career in public relations and broadcasting.

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