Gainesville, Fla. (AP) — Baseball bat and horn-waving principal Joe Louis Clark’s firm commitment to students and a firm discipline method inspired the 1989 film Lean on Me). His family said in a statement that he is battling an unspecified disease. He was 82 years old.
On May 8, 1938, Clark’s family was born in Rochelle, Georgia, when he was 6 years old, and moved north to Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Newark Central High School, Clark received a bachelor’s degree from William Patterson College (now William Patterson University), a master’s degree from Seton Hall University, and an honorary doctorate from the American Academy of Sports. Clark also served as a reserve sergeant and exercise instructor in the US Army.
Clark taught at Paterson Elementary School in Essex County, New Jersey, and later became the principal of PS 6 Grammar School.
Later, he was hired as the principal of the crime and drug-ridden Eastside High School. Within a day, he expelled 300 students on the grounds of fighting, vandalism, teacher abuse, and drug abuse, and raised the expectations of those left behind, constantly challenging them to perform better. Clark used loudspeakers and baseball bats to roam the hallways. Clark’s unconventional methods won admirers and critics across the country. President Ronald Reagan gave Clark a White House policy advisor post after graduating from high school.
Morgan Freeman (Morgan Freeman) played Clark in the 1
After Clark retired from the Eastern District in 1989, he served as the director of the Essex County Detention Facility (Essex County Detention Facility), a juvenile detention facility in Newark. He also wrote “Let Down the Law: Joe Clark’s Strategy to Save the School”, detailing his approach to turning the East Side High School around.
He retired to Gainesville, Florida.
Clark’s descendants Joetta, Hazel and JJ, and grandsons Talitha, Jorell and Hazel survived. His wife Gloria died before him.