William Clark

William Kemp Clark (1925 - 2007)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Dr. William Kemp Clark
Born in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1920s - unknown)]
Father of [private daughter (1950s - unknown)], [private son (1950s - unknown)], [private son (1960s - unknown)] and [private son (1960s - unknown)]
Died in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas USAmap
Profile last modified 29 Aug 2019 | Created 5 Feb 2017 | Last significant change: 29 Aug 2019
13:43: Natalie (Durbin) Trott edited the Biography for William Kemp Clark (1925-2007). [Thank Natalie for this]
This page has been accessed 699 times.



William Clark was a part of Texas.
This profile is part of the Dallas County, Texas One Place Study.

Welcome to Dallas County, Texas Project

The Biography Dr. William Kemp Clark
A Neurosurgeon
A JFK Assassination Figure

Dr. William Kemp Clark, aka Kemp B. Clark, a neurosurgeon, was born on September 2, 1925 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, he is remembered for attending President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and for making the formal death pronouncement. He was raised in Dallas, graduated from the University of Texas in 1944, earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1948, and was an intern and surgical resident at Indiana University from 1948 to 1950. Following two years service in the , Dr. Clark received his neurosurgical training at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital's Neurological Institute, then in 1955 returned to Dallas to found the chair of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern (UT Southwestern).

On November 22, 1963 the doctor, who was also chief of neurosurgery at neighboring Parkland Hospital, was working in his laboratory at the medical school when he was notified that the President had been shot and was inbound to Parkland. Upon his arrival in the emergency room about two minutes later, at roughly 12:30 PM, he saw that President John F. Kennedy had sustained an almost certainly non-survivable head wound and that a resuscitation effort had begun, with Dr. Jim Carrico having placed an endotracheal tube and Dr. Mac Perry in the process of performing a tracheotomy. Dr. Clark briefly gave cardiac massage but turned that duty over to Dr. Perry so that he himself could more fully evaluate the head injury. As he was later to record, he saw a "large", 3 X 3 centimeter, hole in the right occipital-parietal area, meaning toward the back of the head, with both cerebral and cerebellar tissue visible. After anesthesiologist Dr. A.H. Giesecke, Jr. placed a cardiac monitor, he observed that there was no electrical activity of the heart and that there was no pulse with CPR, and thus, as the senior physician present, he pronounced the President dead at 1 PM. Subsequently he notified Mrs. Kennedy of her husband's demise, signed a Texas death certificate which he gave to Presidential physician Dr. George Burkley, and managed to avoid the dust-up between Dallas Coroner Dr. Earl Rose and the Secret Service. He joined with Dr. Perry in a news conference that afternoon, participated in several later ones, was questioned by the FBI at least twice, and in March of 1964 gave testimony to the Warren Commission. In later years critics of the Warren Report were to point out the mismatch of the wound descriptions given by Dr. Clark and the other Dallas doctors with that of the Bethesda pathologists, with Dr. Clark recording a much smaller wound, failing to observe a small hole situated below the larger one, and noting the presence of cerebellar tissue, implying a wound much further back on the head, which Dr. Jim Humes and the other pathologists did not. Dr. Clark replied that he must have been wrong about the cerebellum, that he missed the other hole under the hair and blood, and that he certainly had no intention of performing a post-mortem examination. Still, he was largely spared the venom directed at Dr. Perry over the tracheotomy and went on to a distinguished career. A respected authority on head trauma, cerebral aneurysms, and glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly severe malignant brain tumor, he trained numerous residents and medical students, published around 100 articles, and even started a program called Think First, an educational effort aimed at getting young people to avoid high risk behavior. Designated a Distinguished Alumnus by both the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and the Neurological Institute, he served as President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons in 1981 and 1982 and of the Society of Neurological Surgery from 1983 to 1984. The doctor was bestowed the Ashbell Smith Award of Excellence in 1988, retired to Professor Emeritus status in 1990, and divided his later years between Dallas and Pebble Beach. In 2014 the Clark Samson Lab was named in his honor; today and eternally the subject of "Who Killed Kennedy?" remains as controversial as ever. (bio by: Bob Hufford) Dr. William Kemp Clark passed away on November 29, 2007 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA. [1]

Family Members:

James Clark
Florine Kemp (aka Florine Clark, aka Florine Hager)
Spouse and Children:
Fern Blair Clark
Blair Clark
Jonathan Anderson Clark
Peter Kemp Clark
Florine Lee Clark


Greenwood Cemetery, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Plot: Block 15 [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Find A Grave: Memorial #118471240
  • "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:HPFQ-W2M : accessed 6 February 2017), Billie Clark in household of James Clark, Dallas, Dallas, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 67, sheet 31A, line 8, family 536, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2318; FHL microfilm 2,342,052.
  • "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KWJ2-B2T : accessed 6 February 2017), William Clark in household of Dilworth Hager, Tract D6, Highland Park, Justice Precinct 1, Dallas, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 57-3F, sheet 2A, line 4, family 31, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 4015.
  • "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KGNR-RBL : 22 May 2014), Kemp B Clark, Residence, Dallas, Texas, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  • "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VM4Q-5M5 : 20 May 2014), William Kemp Clark, 29 Nov 2007; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

Additional Reading

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

No known carriers of William's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 3
Stars 3
Stars 3

Dr. William Kemp Clark
Dr. William Kemp Clark

William Kemp and Fern Blair - Headstone
William Kemp and Fern Blair - Headstone