Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934)
Is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government.
Nader came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers in general, and most famously the Chevrolet Corvair. In 1999, a New York University panel of journalists ranked Unsafe at Any Speed 38th among the top 100 pieces of journalism of the 20th century.
Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States, having run as a write-in candidate in the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic primary, as the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000, and as an independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.
Early Life and Education
Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut to Nathra and Rose (née Bouziane) Nader, immigrants from Lebanon, who were Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christians. They raised the children in their homeland's culture with both their native Arabic and English, telling them proverbs and stories they felt would encourage independent thought, appreciation of things such as wildlife that cannot be "measured by the dollar," plus instill traits such as perseverance and inner strength. His father initially worked in a textile mill; later, he owned a bakery and restaurant, where he discussed politics with customers, which Ralph listened to along with their comments about conditions at the meat-packing plant, the chemicals they were exposed to, and similar issues that later featured in his activism. His political beliefs and interest in law were also influenced by watching town hall meetings, referendums, and listening to the lawyers argue at the courthouse near his home. His siblings followed similar paths: Laura became a professor of social and cultural anthropology at U.C. Berkeley, Claire earned a doctorate in political science then became a social scientist, and brother Shafeek had a law degree from Boston University.
Nader graduated from The Gilbert School, a private post secondary school in Winsted, Connecticut, in 1951. He then was accepted at Princeton University, and the university offered him a scholarship, but his father turned it away, saying it should go to a student who couldn't afford tuition. Nader graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1955. He then went on to Harvard Law School, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws in 1958.