Nader, Ralph

Nader, Ralph

biographical name

(born Feb. 27, 1934, Winsted, Conn., U.S.) U.S. lawyer and consumer advocate. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In 1963 he left his private law practice in Hartford, Conn., to hitchhike to Washington, D.C., where he began public interest work. His concern about unsafe car designs resulted in the best-selling book Unsafe at Any Speed (1965), which led directly to the passage of national auto-safety standards. Since then he and his associates, known as “Nader's Raiders,” have performed numerous studies on consumer health, safety, and financial issues and have lobbied for greater government regulation of business and industry in a variety of areas. He was instrumental in the passage of the Freedom of Information Act (1966) and in establishing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He also founded the consumer organization Public Citizen and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an umbrella organization for other public interest research groups. As the Green Party candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, he won 3% of the national vote. Nader also ran for president in 2004 and 2008. His work has had major and lasting effects on many aspects of American life.

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