Maritime executive and pioneer Clark dies
Shipping and port executive John Walter Clark Jr., whose career included service as a World War II merchant ship master, shipping line executive, and pioneering Gulf Coast port executive at New Orleans and Gulfport, died April 5 in Pass Christian, Miss. He was 87.
Clark was a rear admiral in the U.S. Maritime Service, which was established by President Franklin Roosevelt in preparation for World War II. Clark graduated from the U.S. Merchant Cadet Corps, a precursor of the Merchant Marine Academy, in 1940, and served as master of cargo and attack troop transports in WWII, participating in major military campaigns in the Pacific, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean theatres, receiving various commendations and combat awards.
After the war, he started his shipping industry career as overseas manager in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, West Africa and Europe for Delta Steamship Lines of New Orleans, becoming its president in 1959 and serving a 20-year tenure.
On retirement from Delta Line, he was executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority for three years. He also served as commissioner and president of the Port of New Orleans. Appointed by the mayor of New Orleans, he coordinated the development of the New Orleans International Trade Center Complex.
Clark also served as a director of the Panama Canal Commission, national vice chairman of the Council of the Americas, technical advisor to the UN Law of the Sea Conference, director of the Liberian Development Corp., director Monrovia Port Management, president of the International Trade Mart/World Trade Center of New Orleans, founder/director of International House, chairman of the Committee of American Steamship Lines, director of the Tulane University Institute of Transportation, president of the National Defense Transportation Association, and president of the Propeller Club of New Orleans.
Clark was decorated by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Liberia, Spain, and Mexico.
He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two step daughters, a brother, 10 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Memorial contributions can be made the Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation, Babson Center, 300 Steamboat Rd., Kings Point, N.Y. 11024.