In memorium: Henry ‘Hank’ Clark, Jr.
Services held for Henry 'Hank' Clark, Jr.; among the first African American McDonald’s hamburgers franchisees in Los Angeles LOS ANGELES — Services were held this week for Henry Clark, Jr., who in 1969 became one of
Services held for Henry ‘Hank’ Clark, Jr.; among the first African American McDonald’s hamburgers franchisees in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — Services were held this week for Henry Clark, Jr., who in 1969 became one of the first African-Americans to own and operate a McDonald’s franchise in the Los Angeles Crenshaw District. Clark passed away on Nov. 10 in his Pasadena home. He was 85.
More affectionately known to those close to him as “Hank,” Clark was born to parents Henry S. Clark Sr. and Laura Pike Clark in Oakland, Calif. on Aug. 13, 1930. He grew up the eldest of two children.
After graduation from Hartford High School in Oakland, Calif., Clark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army at Fort Lee, Va., from 1947 to 1955, achieving the rank of first lieutenant.
Following active duty, Clark joined the army reserves and continued his education, earning a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. Subsequently, he was promoted to captain in his reserve unit. One of his favorite sayings was, “Education is the only thing that can’t be taken away from you.”
He is well known for finishing phone conversations with “Cheers.” It was these heartwarming traits, and many others, that attracted so many to him and resulted in his accomplishments as a successful community and business leader.
In 1969, Clark and his wife Marjorie opened two McDonald’s locations in the Crenshaw District. The businesses provided young people in the community with their first employment opportunities, as well as supported local school activities, Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football programs.
In 1972, Clark was elected to the Pasadena School Board, where he served for two-and-a-half years. During the same period, he was appointed to the UC Berkeley Alumni Association, where he served as director of the Bair’s Lair Summer Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.