December 8, 2000
Ralph Nader, consumer activist and 2000 presidential candidate for the Green Party, has devoted his life to giving ordinary people the tools they need to defend themselves against corporate negligence and government indifference. He was honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.
In 1965, Nader took on the auto industry with his book Unsafe at any Speed, an expose of the disregard car makers held for safety. Since then, Nader has worked with lawmakers to create the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Laws he helped draft and pass include the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection rules, and the Freedom of Information Act. He has formed numerous citizen groups, including the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Pension Rights Center, the Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest, and student public interest research groups.
In his latest citizen initiative, Nader is working with alumni classes, including his own at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to redirect their efforts from parties and reunions to volunteerism and community projects. Nader also works to build the foundation of a third political party.
He is the author of the best-selling books Winning the Insurance Game, Why Women Pay More, and Getting the Best from your Doctor. His most recent consumer education books are Children First: A Parents Guide to Fighting Corporate Predators and No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America.
“To go through life as a non-citizen would be to feel that there’s nothing you can do, that nobody’s listening, that you don’t matter. But to be a citizen is to enjoy the deep satisfaction of seeing pain prevented, misery avoided, and injustice decline,” Nader said.