May 21, 2024

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Joe Louis Clark, the retired New Jersey principal whose story inspired the 1989 movie, Lean on Me, has died. Clark, who retired in Gainesville, Fl. was surrounded by family members when he handed absent on Tuesday (Dec. 29) following a extensive sickness.

He was 82.

A former baseball bat-wielding disciplinarian who labored in schooling for far more than 30 a long time, Clark was born in Rochelle, Ga. in 1938. His loved ones moved to Newark, N.J. when he was six a long time outdated.

After graduating from Newark Central High Faculty, Clark went on to obtain his bachelors from William Peterson College. He attained a master’s degree from Seton Corridor College, and an honorary doctorate from the U.S. Sporting activities Academy.

Clark’s do the job as an U.S. Army Reserve Sergeant and Drill instructor encouraged his occupation in training. He commenced out as a quality university instructor in Paterson, prior to turning into the Director of Camps and Playgrounds in Essex County N.J.

A rigid but passionate administrator, Clark turned the after failing P.S. 6 Grammar School into the “Miracle of Carroll Road.”

But Eastside High Faculty was exactly where Clark found his calling. Upon getting above as principal, Clark expelled 300 pupils in one particular day for fighting, vandalism, abusing teachers, and drug possession. However he would roam the hallways with a bat or bullhorn in hand, his unorthodox approaches lifted the school’s popularity and modified pupil morale.

Clark’s tale caught the notice of the likes of 60 Minutes, The Aresnio Corridor Clearly show and Time Journal, ahead of Morgan Freeman portrayed him on the large display.

Soon after Clark retired from Eastside in 1989, he labored as director of a juvenile detention middle in Newark for 6 many years. Clark was also author of the book, Laying Down thee Law: Joe Clark’s Method for Saving Our Schools.

Apart from creating a title for himself in training, Clark’s legacy extends to his youngsters: Olympian and businesswoman Joetta Clark, Olympic Athlete and Director of Sports Business Enhancement for the Bermuda Tourism Authority Hazel Clark, and his son Joe “JJ” Clark Jr., an accomplished athlete and Director of Monitor and Discipline and Cross Country at Stanford College.

Preceded in dying by his wife, Gloria, Clark is survived by his  little ones, Joetta, Hazel and JJ, and grandchildren Talitha, Jorell, and Hazel.

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