(Mar. 22, 1916-Feb. 14, 1991). The son of Scottish immigrants and a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Alex M. Clark graduated from Shortridge High School in 1933. After attending DePauw University, he received an LL.B. from Indiana University in 1939 and took a job as a Marion County deputy prosecutor. Following several years of military service in World War II, Clark returned to Indianapolis and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for prosecutor in the May 1946 primary.

Mayor Alex M. Clark at his desk, 1952
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

In December 1946, he became the youngest man in the county’s history to be appointed a judge of the municipal court, a position he held until 1951. Clark became one of the youngest mayors of Indianapolis when he assumed office on January 1, 1952.

During his administration, he continued many of the projects started by his predecessor, Democrat Philip Louis Bayt Jr.  Among his accomplishments were improvement of the city’s infrastructure, approval for a new city-county building, restoration of Garfield Park, expansion of the sewer system, and construction of the Hilton U. Brown Theater to serve as the home for Starlight Musicals.

Florist Harry Joseph Letterman, known as H. Joe Letterman, pinned a boutonniere to the lapel of Indianapolis mayor Alex M. Clark in 1954.
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

After leaving office at the end of 1956, Clark went into private practice with his brother, James C. Clark, and eventually formed the law firm of Clark, Quinn, Moses, and Clark. In 1967 he ran for mayor again, losing to Richard G. Lugar in the Republican primary.

Clark helped found the Marion County Republican Veterans of World War II, which became a powerful faction in the GOP. In 1949 he received the Outstanding Young Man of the Year Award from the Indianapolis chamber of commerce and in 1964 he was elected potentate of the Murat Shrine.

Revised February 2021

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