American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Lewis Clark, 1900-1991

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992



Lewis Frothingham Clark was born in Boston on October 29, 1900 and died on March 8, 1991 at the age of 90. The family moved to California when he was four years old. He was a member of the American Alpine Club for well over a half a century, having joined the Club in 1933.

He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1922, having majored in electrical engineering. He then took an advanced degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a staff engineer with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company until he retired in 1965. A bachelor, he lived in the beautiful house his father built in 1908 in Alameda, California

Lewis was very active in environmental work in the Sierra Club, which he joined in 1928. He served for 36 years on the Board of Directors. He was President from 1949 to 1951 and Honorary Vice-President from 1968 until his death. He and his brother Nathan were the only brothers both to have served as presidents of the Sierra Club. He was a pioneer in the construction of Sierra Club huts.

He led many trips not only in California but also to Canada, Europe and Japan. He did much for the early development of long-distance ski mountaineering to remote summits at moderately high elevations, such as the first winter ascent of Mount Lyell, at 13,000 feet, fifty years ago. He climbed Fujiyama in his 70s and Greece’s Mount Olympus when he was 80. Recently he went with Lindblad to Antarctica.

We are grateful to Lewis that he gave so much time and energy to preserve our wilderness areas. The burden is now on us.

Richard M. Leonard

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