Longtime consumer rights activist born to Lebanese parents, Ralph Nader graduated Princeton in 1955 and Harvard Law School in 1958; in 1965 he released Unsafe at Any Speed, a study showing many American automobiles, especially those of General Motors, to be structurally flawed; GM tried to do some muckraking of its own, but on Ralph Nader; Nader then sued GM for invasion of privacy and used the winnings to expand his consumer rights efforts. In 1971 he started Public Citizen, a consumer-rights organization dependent largely (and, some argue, unfairly) on volunteer and low-wage labor.
Nader ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2000, garnering 3% of the popular vote. Some of Nader's main issues were the legalization of marijuana, the need for campaign finance reform, universal healthcare, affordable housing, free education through college, workers' rights, and a shift in taxes to place the burden more heavily on corporations than on the middle and lower classes.
Nader has also been heavily involved in efforts by Congress Watch, The Health Research Group, and Global Trade Watch.
See also Corporatocracy
- Public Citizen's website is at http://www.publiccitizen.org/
- Nader's former campaign site is still available at http://www.votenader.org/