American lawyer, a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a prominent advocate for Georgist economic reform. The the attorney for the child’s upbringing Clarence attended Allegheny College and the University of Michigan Law School, but did not graduate from either institution. Darrow married Jessie Ohl in April 1880.
They had one child, Paul Edward Darrow, in 1883. Darrow later married Ruby Hammerstrom, a journalist 16 years his junior, in 1903. Darrow opened his first little law office in Andover, Ohio, a small farming town just ten miles from Kinsman. Having little to no experience, he started off slowly and gradually built up his career by dealing with the everyday complaints and problems of a farming community.
In 1880, he married Jessie Ohl, and eight years later he moved to Chicago with his wife and young son, Paul. He did not have much business when he first moved to Chicago, and spent as little as possible. He joined the Henry George Club and made some friends and connections in the city. Being part of the club also gave him an opportunity to speak for the Democratic Party on the upcoming election. Also in 1894, Darrow took on the first murder case of his career, defending Patrick Eugene Prendergast, the “mentally deranged drifter” who had confessed to murdering Chicago mayor Carter Harrison, Sr. Darrow soon became one of America’s leading labor attorneys.
He helped organize the Populist Party in Illinois and then ran for U. Congress as a Democrat in 1895 but lost to Hugh R. In 1897, his marriage to Jessie Ohl ended in divorce. In the weeks before the jury was seated, Darrow became increasingly concerned about the outcome of the trial and began negotiations for a plea bargain to spare the defendants’ lives. 20, 1911, he discussed with pro-labor journalist Lincoln Steffens and newspaper publisher E. The defense’s position weakened when, on November 28, Darrow was accused of orchestrating to bribe a prospective juror.
4,000 to the juror two blocks away from Darrow’s office. Two months later, Darrow was charged with two counts of attempting to bribe jurors in both cases. In the first, defended by Earl Rogers, he was acquitted. Rogers became ill during the second trial and rarely came to court. As a consequence of the bribery charges, most labor unions dropped Darrow from their list of preferred attorneys. This effectively put Darrow out of business as a labor lawyer, and he switched to civil and criminal cases. He took the latter because he had become convinced that the criminal justice system could ruin people’s lives if they were not adequately represented.
Throughout his career, Darrow devoted himself to opposing the death penalty, which he felt to be in conflict with humanitarian progress. In more than 100 cases, Darrow only lost one murder case in Chicago. He became renowned for moving juries and even judges to tears with his eloquence. A July 23, 1915, article in the Chicago Tribune describes Darrow’s effort on behalf of J. Fox, an Evanston, Illinois, landlord, to have Mary S. Brazelton committed to an insane asylum against the wishes of her family.
Fox alleged that Brazelton owed him rent money, although other residents of Fox’s boarding house testified to her sanity. In the summer of 1924, Darrow took on the case of Nathan Leopold Jr. Richard Loeb, the teenage sons of two wealthy Chicago families who were accused of kidnapping and killing Bobby Franks, a 14-year-old boy, from their stylish southside Kenwood neighborhood. Chicago newspapers labeled the case the “Trial of the Century” and Americans around the country wondered what could drive the two young men, blessed with everything their society could offer, to commit such a depraved act. Leopold and Loeb made full confessions and took police on a hunt around Chicago to collect the evidence that would be used against them. The state’s attorney told the press that he had a “hanging case” for sure. Darrow stunned the prosecution when he had his clients plead guilty in order to avoid a vengeance-minded jury and place the case before a judge.