THE life of CLARENCE DARROWbegan on April 18, 1857, in the little town of Kinsman, Ohio, where his father, who had wanted to be a minister but who had round himself unable to hold his faith in one sect long enough to be ordained, finally settled down to keeping a furniture store and building up a library.
Darrow defended many others accused of murder, including Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb in 1924 for the murder of Bobby Franks. In 1925 he defended John Scopes in a case involving the teaching of evolution and the constitutionality of a Tennessee anti-evolution statute. Darrow’s opposition in that case was great trial lawyer William Jennings Bryan.
Mr. Darrow was known internationally as a criminal lawyer. Defender in a hundred or more murder trials, no client of his had ever died on the gallows or electric chair. He had built up a reputation for himself as a friend of labor and of the downtrodden. His oratory and his philosophy made him know to millions.
His philosophy, which he recently stated in his autobiography, was made up of an ardent championship of such segments as agnosticism, personal liberty, the abolition of capital punishment, the improvement of labor conditions.
“The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.”
“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I’m beginning to believe it.”
“It’s not bad people I fear so much as good people. When a person is sure that he is good, he is nearly hopeless; he gets cruel- he believes in punishment.”
“Chase after the truth like all hell and you’ll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.”