_Graduating as valedictorian of his class at West Point, Wesley Clark was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford. He obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics there, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master’s degree in military science.
During his 34 years of service in the United States Army, Clark rose to the rank of 4-star General and NATO Supreme Allied Commander. He received many military decorations and several honorary knighthoods. In August 2000, Clark was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
In 1994, Clark was named director for strategic plans and policy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with responsibilities for worldwide U.S. military strategic planning. It was there that General Clark insisted that the Pentagon develop an exit strategy for the 1994 invasion of Haiti. In 1995, General Clark traveled to the Balkans as the military negotiator in a U.S. effort to end the war in Bosnia, playing a vital role in the Dayton peace talks. As Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the United States European Command, Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO’s first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
After retiring from the military, Clark joined Stephens Inc. as a consultant in July 2000 and served as Managing Director, Merchant Banking from 2001 to 2003. In early 2003, thousands of Americans launched a campaign to draft Clark to run for President; he announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in September.
Clark and his wife live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have one son. He is a frequent public speaker, commentator for CNN and author.