Person - Markert, Clement Lawrence (1917-1990)

Markert, Clement Lawrence (1917-1990)




Preferred form:

Markert, Clement Lawrence (1917-1990)Other forms

Fechas de existencia:

1917-04-11 - 1990-10-01


Markert, Clement was born on the 11th of April 1917 in Las Animas, Colorado. He was a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade and longtime member of the ALBA Board of Governors. He made his mark as a world-class geneticist and biologist but it was his service in Spain that uniquely shaped his distinguished academic career. As a brilliant undergraduate at the University of Colorado, the 20-year old Markert and his roommate Allan Merrick left the Boulder campus in 1937 to fight against Franco in Spain. They rode freight trains to New York, stowed away on a merchant ship, made contact with the International Brigades in Paris, and then proceeded over the Pyrenees to enlist with the Lincolns.

Arriving in Spain just before the Retreats in 1938, Markert served as a scout during the dangerous time of encirclement. He attributed his survival to the mountaineering skills he had learned as a youth in the Colorado Rockies. His friend Merrick was not so lucky.

After returning home on the 15th of December 1938 aboard the "Paris", Markert faced a public inquiry by the Colorado Board of Trustees before being allowed to complete his college studies. He boldly defended his decision to go to Spain. They voted unanimously to reinstate him. He went on to graduate studies in zoology at UCLA.

When World War II began, he tried to enlist in the Army Air Corps, only to be turned down because of his service in Spain. He enlisted in the Merchant Marines. After the war, he earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and became an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. In 1954, Markert and two colleagues refused to testify before a subcommittee of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The university president suspended all three, though Markert alone was reinstated.

In 1991, an annual lecture series devoted to free speech was named in their honor. Markert eventually moved on to Yale University, where he continued his work on enzymes and served as Chair of the Department of Biology. He was also elected to the American Academy of Sciences, perhaps the most prestigious scientific society in the country, and served on its governing council. He died at a hospice near his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the 1st of October 1999.

Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Date of the event: 1936 - 1939






Lugar de Residencia:

Estados Unidos


Martínez Reverte, Jorge. Guerreros y traidores: de la guerra de España a la Guerra Fría. 1ª edición. Barcelona: Galaxia Gutenberg. 2014. 242 páginas. ISBN: 978-84-672-5803-5 .

External Links

recurso electrónico:

Alba Volunteer

Recurso web:

The volunteer


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