Ralph Nader is an American attorney, author, lecturer, political activist, and four-time candidate for President of the Unitd States, having run as Green Party candidate in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.
Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government. With grassroots democracy civic actions, gree politics and left-wing politics, he is reputed populist, harking to 19th century American populists and movements like Henry George's Geoism, or single land tax, which he referred to in his 2004 presidential election platform.
Nader graduated from The Gilbert School in 1951, followed by Princeton University four years later and then Harvard Law School. He served six months on active duty in the United States Army in 1959, then became a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a professor of history and government at the University of Hartford from 1961 to 1963. In 1964, Nader moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan and also advised a United States Senate subcommittee on car safety. Nader has served on the faculty at the American University Washington College of Law.
Hundreds of young activists, inspired by Nader's work, came to DC to help him with other projects. They came to be known as "Nader's Raiders" and, under Nader, investigated government corruption, publishing dozens of books with their results:
- Nader's Raiders (Federal Trade Commission)
- Vanishing Air (National Air Pollution Control Administration)
- The Chemical Feast (Food and Drug Administration)
- The Interstate Commerce Omission (Interstate Commerce Commission)
- Old Age (nursing homes)
- The Water Lords (water pollution)
- Who Runs Congress? (Congress)
- Whistle Blowing (punishment of whistle blowers)
- The Big Boys (corporate executives)
- Collision Course (Federal Aviation Administration)
- No Contest (corporate lawyers)
- Destroy the Forest (Destruction of ecosystems worldwide)
- Operation: Nuclear (Making of a nuclear missile)
Nader speaks out against the Iraq War at a September 15, 2007, anti-war protest.
In 1971, Nader co-founded the nongovermental organization (NGO) Public Citizen with fellow public interest lawyer Alan Morrison as an umbrella orgnization for these projects. Today, Public Citizen has over 140,000 members and investigates congressional, health, environmental, economic and other issues. Nader wrote, "The consumer must be protected at times from his own indiscretion and vanity."
In the 1970s and 1980s Nader was a key leader in the antinuclear power movement. "By 1976, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who later became allied with the environmental movement, 'stood as the titular head of opposition to nuclear energy'" He advocates the complete elimination of nuclear energy in favor of solar, tidal, wind and geothermal, citing environmental, worker safety, migrant labor, national security, disaster preparedness, foreign policy, government accountability and democratic governance issues to bolster his position.Nader was also a prominent supporter of the Airline Deregulation Act.
Nader has never married. Karen Croft, a writer who worked for Nader in the late 1970s at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, once asked him if he had ever considered getting married. "He said that at a certain point he had to decide whether to have a family or to have a career, that he couldn't have both," Croft recalled. "That's the kind of person he is. He couldn't have a wife — he's up all night reading the Congressional Record.
He has been described as a Christian by The Washington Post, though, as with most aspects of his personal life, Nader doesn't discuss his religion
This article incorporates text from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.