Ralph Nader is an American consumer advocate. He has worked on many different projects and founded many different organizations designed to help the American people and to protect the environment on the whole. Ralph Nader was born in Connecticut in 1934. From a young age, he learned from his Lebanese immigrant parents the importance of justice over power. In 1955, he received his bachelor's degree in government and economics from Princeeton University. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He earned his law degree in 1957.
While serving as law review editor, Nader began his writing
career. At first, he focused on the dangers of American cars to the consumer, publishing (among other works) Unsafe at Any Speed. In this book, Nader targeted the prominent U.S. automakers, condemning their practices and values. The book eventually played a part in the passage of the 1966 Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act, which granted the U.S. government increased power over the safety standards of American cars.
From this topic, Nader moved on to examine meat standards and to promote passage of the Wholesome Meat Act of 1967. In 1974, he was influential in the passage of the Freedom of Information Act. Nader has also helped establish several important organizations, among them the Environmental Protection Agency, started in 1970. As a result of these activities, Nader's fame and popularity spread; in 1971, a Harris poll ranked him the sixth most popular figure in America.
In the course of his work, Nader formed a group known as "Nader's Raiders." The group later developed into the Center for Study of Responsive Law, which has been Nader's organizational base since 1968, helping him in his numerous investigations. Many other public advocacy groups have branched off from the Center for Study of Responsive Law; still others, with similar objectives, have been established by some of Nader's associates.
Although Nader has been less effective since the 1970s, he has not given up his work. Today, Ralph Nader remains active in many consumer issues, including the campaign to improve automobile safety.
Articles by Ralph Nader