51 Facts About Ralph Nader


Ralph Nader is an American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney noted for his involvement in consumer protection, environmentalism, and government reform causes.

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Son of Lebanese immigrants to the United States, Ralph Nader attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

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Ralph Nader first came to prominence in 1965 with the publication of the bestselling book Unsafe at Any Speed, a highly influential critique of the safety record of American automobile manufacturers.

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Ralph Nader made four bids to become President of the United States, running with the Green Party in 1996 and 2000, the Reform Party in 2004, and as an independent in 2008.

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In each campaign, Ralph Nader said he sought to highlight under-reported issues and a perceived need for electoral reform.

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Ralph Nader received nearly three million votes during his 2000 candidacy, but stirred controversy over allegations that his campaign helped Republican candidate George W Bush win a close election against Democratic candidate Al Gore.

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Two-time Nieman Fellow, Ralph Nader is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books and was the subject of a documentary film on his life and work, An Unreasonable Man, which debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

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Ralph Nader has been repeatedly named to lists of the "100 Most Influential Americans", including those published by Life, Time, and The Atlantic.

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Ralph Nader occasionally helped at his father's restaurant, as well as worked as a newspaper delivery boy for the local paper, the Winsted Register Citizen.

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Ralph Nader graduated from The Gilbert School in 1951, going on to attend Princeton University.

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Ralph Nader identified with Libertarian philosophy in his youth, but gradually shifted away in his early 20s.

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In 1959, Ralph Nader was admitted to the bar and began practice as a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut, while lecturing at the University of Hartford and traveling to the Soviet Union, Chile, and Cuba, where he filed dispatches for the Christian Science Monitor and The Nation.

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Ralph Nader was first propelled into the national spotlight with the 1965 publication of his journalistic expose Unsafe at Any Speed.

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Ralph Nader researched case files from more than 100 lawsuits then pending against General Motors' Chevrolet Corvair to support his assertions.

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Book became an immediate bestseller, but prompted a vicious backlash from General Motors who attempted to discredit Ralph Nader by tapping his phone in an attempt to uncover salacious information and, when that failed, hiring prostitutes in an attempt to catch him in a compromising situation.

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In 1968, Ralph Nader recruited seven volunteer law students, dubbed "Ralph Nader's Raiders" by the Washington press corps, to evaluate the efficacy and operation of the Federal Trade Commission .

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Ralph Nader's name appeared in the press as a potential candidate for president for the first time in 1971, when he was offered the opportunity to run as the presidential candidate for the New Party, a progressive split-off from the Democratic Party.

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In 1973, Ralph Nader was plaintiff in the case against acting attorney general Robert Bork, who under orders of President Richard Nixon had fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, an action that was ultimately ruled illegal by federal judge Gerhard Gesell.

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Ralph Nader's work testifying before Congress, drafting model legislation, and organizing citizen letter-writing and protest efforts, earned him direct credit for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Clean Water Act, Consumer Product Safety Act, and Whistleblower Protection Act.

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Ralph Nader would organize a conference featuring Microsoft's critics from the tech world.

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In 1999, Ralph Nader was unsuccessfully approached by Nike to appear in an advertisement.

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Ralph Nader's name appeared in the press as a potential candidate for president for the first time in 1971, when he was offered the opportunity to run as the presidential candidate for the New Party, a progressive split-off from the Democratic Party in 1972.

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Ralph Nader declined their offer to run that year; the New Party ultimately joined with the People's Party in running Benjamin Spock in the 1972 presidential election.

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Ralph Nader received one vote for the vice-presidential nomination at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

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Ralph Nader declined their offer stating "I will never run for president".

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Ralph Nader was a candidate in the 1992 Massachusetts Democratic Primary, where he appeared at the top of the ballot .

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Ralph Nader was drafted as a candidate for President of the United States on the Green Party ticket during the 1996 presidential election.

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Ralph Nader was not formally nominated by the Green Party USA, which was, at the time, the largest national Green group; instead he was nominated independently by various state Green parties .

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Ralph Nader received some criticism from gay rights supporters for calling gay rights "gonadal politics" and stating that he was not interested in dealing with such matters.

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Ralph Nader's 1996 running mates included: Anne Goeke, Deborah Howes, Muriel Tillinghast, Krista Paradise, Madelyn Hoffman, Bill Boteler, and Winona LaDuke .

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Ralph Nader cites this as one of the primary reasons that he decided to actively run in the 2000 election as candidate of the Green Party, which had been formed in the wake of his 1996 campaign.

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Burden in 2005 showed Ralph Nader did "play a pivotal role in determining who would become president following the 2000 election", but that:.

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Contrary to Democrats' complaints, Ralph Nader was not intentionally trying to throw the election.

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Some Ralph Nader advisers urged him to spend his time in uncontested states such as New York and California.

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Terry McAuliffe stated that Ralph Nader had a "distinguished career, fighting for working families", and that McAuliffe "would hate to see part of his legacy being that he got us eight years of George Bush".

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Ralph Nader was endorsed by Howard Zinn, Jesse Ventura, Justin Jeffre, Tom Morello, Val Kilmer, Rocky Anderson, James Abourezk, Patti Smith, and Jello Biafra.

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Ralph Nader branded President Barack Obama as a "war criminal" and called for his impeachment.

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Ralph Nader called for Boeing top leaders to resign and said that the Federal Aviation Administration "has been in the pockets of the Boeing company for years".

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In 2009 Ralph Nader published his first work of fiction, Only the Super Rich Can Save Us.

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Ralph Nader branched out into fiction with the fable collection Animal Envy in 2016.

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Ralph Nader later moderated a similar debate in a studio appearance broadcast by Russia Today.

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In 2015, after a decade planning, Ralph Nader founded the American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Connecticut.

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At the time of its opening, some expressed skepticism that a museum dedicated to tort would have much interest to the general public, though Ralph Nader responded that he was "astounded how a country can go over 200 years and not have a law museum".

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Ralph Nader unsuccessfully sought a seat on the Harvard University Board of Overseers in 2016 as part of an insurgent candidate slate operating under the name "Free Harvard, Fair Harvard" which called for increased transparency by the university as to how it made athletic and legacy admissions decisions.

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Ralph Nader's siblings are Laura, Claire, and late brother Shafeek.

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Ralph Nader defines his ideology not as left-wing or right-wing but as a "moral empiricist".

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Ralph Nader has lived in Washington DC since the 1960s, but is domiciled in Connecticut, where he is registered to vote.

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Ralph Nader owns shares in Amazon and believes the corporation should be paying shareholders a dividend.

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Ralph Nader believes that there should be an "antitrust investigation" looking into the company's business practices.

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Steve Skrovan documentary film An Unreasonable Man is about the life of Ralph Nader and uses both archival footage and original interviews.

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In 1988, Ralph Nader appeared on Sesame Street as "a person in your neighborhood", the episode featuring Barbara Walters and Martina Navratilova.

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