Clarence Darrow
Clarence Seward Darrow was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

, best known for defending teenage thrill killers
Thrill killing
A thrill killing is a term used to describe a premeditated murder committed by a person who is not necessarily suffering from mental instability, and does not derive sexual satisfaction from killing victims, or have anything against them, and sometimes do not know them, but is instead motivated by...

 Leopold and Loeb
Leopold and Loeb
Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb , more commonly known as "Leopold and Loeb", were two wealthy University of Michigan alumni and University of Chicago students who murdered 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks in 1924 and were sentenced to life imprisonment.The duo were...

 in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks (1924) and defending John T. Scopes
John T. Scopes
John Thomas Scopes , was a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 for violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools...

 in the Scopes Trial
Scopes Trial
The Scopes Trial—formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and informally known as the Scopes Monkey Trial—was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act which made it unlawful to...

 (1925), in which he opposed William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

 (statesman, noted orator, and 3-time presidential candidate). Called a "sophisticated country lawyer
Country Lawyer
In the United States, a country lawyer, or county-seat lawyer, is an attorney who has completed little or no formal legal training and has become a member of a county bar or a state bar after "reading law"; traditionally, these lawyers practiced general law in a rural setting, or on the frontier...

", he remains notable for his wit
Wit is a form of intellectual humour, and a wit is someone skilled in making witty remarks. Forms of wit include the quip and repartee.-Forms of wit:...

 and agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, which marked him as one of the most famous American lawyers and civil libertarians.
Clarence Darrow was born in rural northeastern Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 on April 18, 1857.

In the great flood of human life that is spawned upon the earth, it is not often that a man is born.

Funeral oration for John Peter Altgeld|John Peter Altgeld (14 March 1902); published in an appendix to The Story of My Life (1932)

Liberty is the most jealous and exacting mistress that can beguile the brain and soul of man. She will have nothing from him who will not give her all. She knows that his pretended love serves but to betray. But when once the fierce heat of her quenchless, lustrous eyes has burned into the victim's heart, he will know no other smile but hers.

Funeral oration for John Peter Altgeld (14 March 1902)

With all their faults, trade-unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men.

The Railroad Trainman (November 1909)

The objector and the rebel who raises his voice against what he believes to be the injustice of the present and the wrongs of the past is the one who hunches the world along.

Address to the court in "The Communist Trial", People v. Lloyd (1920)

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.

Address to the court in People v. Lloyd (1920)

The Constitution is a delusion and a snare if the weakest and humblest man in the land cannot be defended in his right to speak and his right to think as much as the strongest in the land.

Address to the court in People v. Lloyd (1920)

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.

Scopes Trial|Scopes Trial, Dayton, Tennessee (13 July 1925)

All men do the best they can. But none meet life honestly and few heroically.

As quoted in Infidels and Heretics : An Agnostic's Anthology (1929) edited by Clarence Darrow and Wallace Rice, p. 206