Tributes to
J. Desmond Clark


Reporters who spent time with Desmond Clark found out soon enough why he was so revered by colleagues. He not only seemed to know everybody and everything, he was among the most patient, cordial, and thoughtful sources I've run across. He didn't just talk, but listened, too. He couldn't help telling wonderful stories of his younger years in Africa when he was just getting started. The reverence with which he'd pull some old hand axe off his shelf to show a visitor spoke volumes about his devotion to his field. He disappointed me in only one aspect. Journalists flock to conflict in hope of a few insulting remarks to spice up a story. It was nearly impossible to goad Desmond Clark to say anything nasty, for public consumption, about anybody!

-Charles Petit, U. S. News and World Report