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The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke

Attorney and St. Louis Family Court Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Thomas Phillip Clarke, an attorney, and Mary Ann Vincent Clarke, a former hospital nurse supervisor. Clarke graduated from Rosati-Kain High School, an all-female Catholic college preparatory academy.

Clarke attended Northwest Missouri State University, graduating in 1970 with her B.A. degree in political science after only three years of study. Clarke entered Saint Louis University’s School of Law and earned her J.D. degree in 1973. In 1979, Clarke married Richard K. Gaines, who would join Clarke in becoming a long standing civic servant in the St. Louis area.

In 1981, Clarke became president of the Mound City Bar Association, a position she remained in for two years. One year after leaving the presidency, Clarke wrote a significant piece for the St. Louis Bar Journal entitled “The History of the Black Bar,” which has been cited in a number of prominent publications, including J. Clay Smith’s 1999 book Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer 1844-1944.

Clarke became Juvenile Division Hearing Officer for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri (City of St. Louis) in 1986, where she would remain for twelve years. During her time in this position, Clarke was known for developing innovative sentences for juveniles who had committed crimes. The same year that Clarke became the Juvenile Division Hearing Officer, she joined the Board of Governors for The Missouri Bar, becoming the first black member of the organization.

In 1993, Missouri governor, Mel Carnahan, appointed Clarke as a member of the City of St. Louis’ Board of Police Commissioners, making her the first African American woman to serve on the Board. She was also elected treasurer by the Board’s members. The following year, Clarke became the first female president of the Board after a unanimous election. After four years as president, Clarke resigned from the Board and became the Family Court Commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Court (City of St. Louis). She has been a member of the National Bar Association Judicial Council for many years. In 2004, Clarke was elected a member of the Judicial Council’s Executive Board, and in June 2005, Clarke was assigned to the Domestic Relations Division.

Clarke was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 19, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.298

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

10/19/2007

Last Name

Clarke

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Rosati-Kain High School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Anne-Marie

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

CLA15

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

You Never Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

6/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

St. Louis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Family court commissioner and hearing officer The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke (1949 - ) was elected the first African American female president of the City of St. Louis’ Board of Police Commissioners. She is also a former president of the Mound City Bar Association.

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her mother's upbringing and summer work

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her mother's experience pledging Delta Sigma Theta sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her father's life and death

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about her father's decision to attend law school

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her father's experience at Lincoln University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about her father's involvement in the Missouri Bar and the National Bar Association

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her father's mentor, David M. Grant

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls how her parents met, and her home growing up in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her family and her early interest in the legal profession

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her grade school years at Visitation Academy, a Catholic school in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls teachers at Visitation Academy in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls classes and playing the bassoon at Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about attending the opera and listening to the radio in her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls her memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls summer trips to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi during her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls segregation in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about the decline of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes one of her father's first cases

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls her experience at Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes attending Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes majoring in political science at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke remembers her father's advice about hard work and education

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about her admittance to the Missouri bar and working for HistoryMaker Wayman Smith

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes working in Boston, Massachusetts and taking the Missouri bar exam

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recalls working at Northeast Utilities in Connecticut before returning to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about working as staff counsel for the St. Louis, Missouri's metro area public transit system

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes two of her legal mentors, HistoryMakers Margaret Bush Wilson and Wayman Smith

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about HistoryMakers Frankie Freeman and Margaret Bush Wilson

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her bid to become referee of Missouri's juvenile courts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her appointment to the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her appointment to the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her appointment to the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts the 1993 vote for president of the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts the 1993 vote for president of the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes conflicts within the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners and with Police Chief Clarence Harmon

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her 1994 run for president of the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes serving as president of the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes a white police officer's lawsuit for wrongful dismissal

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about researching the history of African American bar associations

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about the Mound City Bar Association and pioneering black lawyers in Missouri

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke talks about former Missouri circuit court judge Evelyn Baker

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her judicial philosophy and her truancy court program in St. Louis, Missouri public schools

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke reflects upon her life and what she would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke recounts her bid to become referee of Missouri's juvenile courts
The Honorable Anne-Marie Clarke describes serving as president of the St. Louis, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners
Transcript
Kind of fast forwarding a little bit, when I was elected to--when I was appointed to the police board, which was a very--of all the things that I have ever done in my life, that was probably my most unpleasant experience of getting on the police board [St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners].$$Okay now be--$$Before you get there?$$Now this--what, what year is this?$$Getting on the police board was April 19--well, the, the unpleasant part was April, May of 1993. And--$$You were appointed in '93 [1993].$$I was appointed to the police board by the--by [Missouri] Governor Mel Carnahan. I was recommended for the appointment by Senator J.B. "Jet" Banks [1924 - 2003], and Senator Banks is my godmother's husband. The newspapers--and this was my introduction into newspaper placement and publicity and all of that, but the governor--the police board is probably the biggest political appointment in St. Louis City [Missouri] and Kansas City [Missouri]. People actively seek wanting, you know, to get on the police board.$$Now, now, now at the time, you were a juvenile hearing officer--(simultaneous)--$$Well, and, and that's kind of, I guess, to, to, to set that up, I was--back in 1985, applied--I applied to become referee of the juvenile--of the juvenile division. The finalists were myself and a white man who was actually filling the job in an acting capacity. The judges of the--of the court have to select the referee, and it took the judges five months and at least that many ballots before they finally selected the white man for the job over me. We knew that the two of us would be the finalists and because he was in the acting position, he--you know, he certainly would, would be seen as having a, a, a leg up over me on this, but the politics were such--and, and the difference of 1985 and 2007 is that you probably would never have anything like this happen. But the way that he--that, that they finally broke the stalemate--because it was a stalemate. We needed sixteen votes to secure the position; I think the first vote I had fourteen, didn't have the sixteen, and it just went back and forth like this over months, September, October, November, and finally in December when he got the vote. But how he got it was, the judge is saying, well Anne-Marie is married and has a husband, the other guy is the sole supporter of his family, and so he should get it more. Yep. But that's 1985 and that's because--that was with a court that was at that point predominantly white men, so that argument is going to go somewhere with them. Two thousand seven [2007], it's not gonna happen.$So we came into the meeting and he just looked at me said, I don't know. I said, fine, we called--I took the nominations. I was--Matt [Matthew J. Padberg] nominated me, Bob [Haar] seconded the nomination, and then Charles [Micheaux] thought--spoke up and he said, well then it's--he said it'll be unanimous. Anne-Marie will get it. So that was how I became the second black president of the police board [St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners] and the first woman president of the police board just a year later [1994]--less--not quite a year later, eleven months later after this horrible way of coming onto the board. As the board president, I made it my business--because my, my position at the court was half time, so I basically had half time to devote to the police department. They had--they had me for meetings, they had me for public appearances, they had me involved in the individual--the officers--just different things that the--that the officers were doing. I was very instrumental in getting women officers--women police officers' support network started that still continues. I was able to work on some diversity issues within the--within the police department, some of that's still continuing. We were able to make some incredible appointments of the first black woman captain--I'm sorry the first woman captain, the first black woman--first black woman captain that we were able to get appointed, being able to move blacks into the higher ranks of, of the police department, but spending just so very much of my time with the police department, but also working with just this incredible group of men and women who protect and serve the citizens of St. Louis in the State of Missouri.