Morgan Freeman starred as Clark in the 1989 film skinny on Me that was loosely based on Clark’s tenure at Eastside High college in Paterson, N.J.

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In this 1988 photo, Joe Clark, major of Eastside High school in Paterson, N.J., stands through rap team Run-DMC prior to the group provided a concert in ~ the college in support of Clark"s way of running his school. Clark died at his Florida house on Tuesday. < PETER CANATA | AP >
GAINESVILLE — Joe louis Clark, the baseball bat and also bullhorn-wielding primary whose unwavering commitment to his students and also uncompromising disciplinary methods motivated the 1989 film skinny on Me, passed away at his Florida home on Tuesday after ~ a long fight with one unspecified illness, his household said. He to be 82.

At crime- and drug-ridden Eastside High institution in Paterson, N.J., Clark expelled 300 student in a solitary day for fighting, vandalism, abusing teachers and drug possession. The lifted the expectations of those that remained, continually an overwhelming them to execute better. Clark’s unorthodox methods, which included roaming the hallways v a bullhorn and a baseball bat, winner him both admirers and critics nationwide. Chairman Ronald Reagan offered Clark a White home policy adviser position after his success in ~ the high school.


Morgan Freeman starred as Clark in the 1989 film lean on Me the was loosely based upon Clark’s tenure at Eastside.

After he retired from Eastside in 1989, Clark worked for six years together the manager of Essex county Detention House, a youth detention facility in Newark. He also wrote Laying under the Law: Joe Clark’s Strategy for saving Our Schools, detailing his techniques for transforming around Eastside High.

Clark’s teaching career started at a Paterson grade school in Passaic County, N.J., before he became principal the PS 6 Grammar School.

Clark was born in Rochelle, Ga., on may 8, 1938. His family members moved phibìc to Newark, N.J., once he to be 6 years old. ~ graduating native Newark central High School, Clark got his bachelor’s level from wilhelm Paterson college (now william Paterson University), a master’s degree from Seton room University, and also an honorary doctorate from the U.S. Sports Academy. Clark additionally served as a U.S. Army Reserve sergeant and also a drill instructor.

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Clark is endured by his children, Joetta, Hazel and JJ, and also grandchildren, Talitha, Jorell and also Hazel. His wife, Gloria, preceded him in death.