DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Dick Clark, a Democrat who unexpectedly won a single term representing Iowa in the 1970s after campaigning by walking around the state, and who later played a key role in aiding refugees after the Vietnam War, has died. He was 95.
Clark died Wednesday at his home in Washington, said his daughter, Julie Clark Mendoza.
Clark was elected to the Senate in 1972 after launching a longshot bid against two-term Republican Sen. Jack Miller. With little money for his campaign, Clark opted to walk across Iowa during numerous trips in 1972.
The walks, on which he often was joined by supporters, were credited for his convincing victory with 55% of the vote.
During his time in the Senate, Clark devoted time to Africa, pushing for policies to help newly independent nations and to oppose apartheid.
Clark lost in his run for reelection in 1978, and he believed his work in Africa prompted funding against his campaign.
After leaving the Senate, President Jimmy Carter appointed Clark as ambassador-at-large for a refugee crisis related to the Vietnam War. Clark worked with Congress to help create a refugee policy and set up a structure to help refugees.