Born in 1857, he was based in Chicago and made a name for himself by defending labor leaders in several high profile cases. Most of the cases became pivotal in the development of American labor or criminal law. This was an era when labor legislation and the right to unionize was in its infancy and Darrow's staunch defense of union leaders gave the movement needed credibility.

Clarence DarrowDarrow often took up unpopular causes, defending against sedition charges after World War I, defending a black family from murder charges in Detroit; defending two men suspected of the murder of a 14-year old boy; and, in perhaps his most famous case, defending teacher John Scopes who was accused of breaking a state law by presenting Darwin's theories of evolution to high school students.

Darrow was a published author and public speaker, promoting his personal convictions including freedom of expression and of association and opposition to capital punishment.

He died in 1938.