Joe Louis Clark Wiki
Joe Louis Clark, the baseball bat and bullhorn-wielding principal whose unwavering commitment to his students and uncompromising disciplinary methods inspired the 1989 film “Lean on Me,” died at his Florida home on Tuesday after a long battle with an unspecified illness, his family said in statement.
Joe Louis Clark Age
He Was 82 Year Old
Joe Louis Clark Died
The principal, using a baseball bat and megaphone, who inspired the 1989 movie “Lean on Me,” with his unwavering devotion to his students and uncompromising methods of discipline, died at his home in Florida on Tuesday after a long battle with an uncertain illness, his family said in his statement. He was 82 years old.
Born in Rochelle, Georgia, on May 8, 1938, Clark’s family moved north to Newark, New Jersey when he was 6 years old. After graduating from Newark Central High School, Clark earned his bachelor’s degree from William Paterson College (now William Paterson University), a master’s degree from Seton Hall University, and an honorary doctorate from the US Academy of Sports. Clark also served as a US Army Reserve sergeant and exercise instructor.
Before Clark became principal of PS 6 Grammar School, he began teaching at a Paterson primary school in Passaic County, New Jersey.
He was later hired as the principal of the crime and drug addict Eastside High School. He expelled 300 students in one day for fighting, vandalism, teacher abuse, and drug possession, raising the expectations of the rest, constantly pushing them to perform better. Clark’s unorthodox methods, as he navigated the hallways with a megaphone and a baseball bat, earned him fans and critics all over the country. President Ronald Reagan offered Clark the position of White House policy adviser after his high school success.
Morgan Freeman played the role of Clark in the 1989 film “Lean on Me” loosely based on Clark’s tenure at Eastside.
After retiring from Eastside in 1989, Clark worked for six years as the director of Essex County Detention House, a juvenile detention center in Newark. He also wrote “Making the Law: Joe Clark’s Strategy to Save Our Schools,” detailing the methods of getting around Eastside High.
He retired in Gainesville, Florida.
Clark was survived by his children Joetta, Hazel and JJ and grandchildren Talitha, Jorell and Hazel. His wife Gloria came before him in death.