“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:20)…If people are known by the works they do and the deeds they accomplish during their lives here on earth, then the late McAlester banker, philanthropist and civic leader Clark Bass leaves a legacy that will surely endure for the ages.”
Oklahoma native Clark Bass moved to Durant at an early age, graduated from Durant High School, and attended Southeastern State College (now Southeastern Oklahoma State University), followed by graduation from the University of Oklahoma (1934). After serving in the Air Force in World War II, he acquired controlling interest in the Durant National Bank in 1947. In 1963 he moved to Dallas to organize the Inwood National Bank and in 1966 acquired controlling interest in the First National Bank of McAlester, Oklahoma.
Through the years he made possible many civic improvements: a founding member of the OU Associates and contributor of the life-size sculpture of Carl Albert; a county-owned hospital in Durant in 1948; a Fine Arts Center at McAlester High School; construction of the McAlester Regional Hospital; and numerous scholarships. Receiving many awards, including Oklahoma Banker of the Year in 1980, he also has a street named in his honor.
In 1992, Clark and Wanda Bass gave the Coal Miner’s Memorial to the people of McAlester, Pittsburg County, and eastern Oklahoma. The monument stands as a silent memorial to all the miners who died in mine accidents in the area.
Bass was born in Caddo, Oklahoma.