Ralph Nader Lesson & Worksheet - My Schoolhouse - Online Learning
Ralph Nader was born on February 27, 1934 in Winsted, Connecticut.
His parents, Nathra and Rose Nader, were Lebanese immigrants. His
father ran a bakery and a restaurant.
In 1951, Ralph Nader graduated from Gilbert
School. He then entered the Woodrow Wilson School of International
Affairs at Princeton University. He graduated from Princeton
magna cum laude in 1955. Nader's degree was in government and
economics. Ralph Nader enrolled in the Harvard Law School and
graduated with a degree in law in 1958. While at Harvard, he became
the editor of the Harvard Law Review and he graduated with honors.
In 1963, at the age of 29, Ralph Nader
hitchhiked to Washington, D.C. and found a job working for Assistant Secretary of Labor,
Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He also did freelance writing for The Nation and the
Christian Science Monitor. Ralph Nader also advised a Senate subcommittee on automobile
In 1965, he released Unsafe at Any Speed,
a study that indicated that many American automobiles were structurally
flawed. General Motors tried to discredit Nader. They hired
private detectives to investigate his past in an attempt to find out
things about him. When Ralph Nader learned of this investigation, he
sued General Motors for invasion of privacy and forced General Motors to
publicly apologize. He later used the winnings from the lawsuit to expand his consumer rights
As an activist, Ralph Nader inspired
hundreds of young people to work with him in Washington D.C. to uncover
corruption in government. These young activist became known as "Nader's
Raiders." Nader's Raiders investigated water pollution, air
pollution, the U.S. Congress, corporate executives, corporate lawyers,
nursing homes, the Food and Drug Administration and more. Nothing
was off limits to Nader's Raiders. Their work brought about many
changes and protections to U.S. citizens.
In 1971, Nader founded the NGO
(Non-Government Organization) Public Citizen as an umbrella organization
for all these projects. Today, Public Citizen has over 150,000 members and
numerous researchers investigating the U.S. Congress, health concerns, environmental issues,
economic concerns, and many other issues in the United States.
Ralph Nader has organized many many
Non-profit organizations. Some of which include:
Capitol Hill News Service
Corporate Accountability Research Project
Disability Rights Center
Equal Justice Foundation
National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
PROD (truck safety)
Retired Professionals Action Group
Congress Accountability Project
Citizen Advocacy Center
Pension Rights Center
Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights
Center for Auto Safety
For many years, Ralph
Nader has criticized the Democratic and Republican Party for preserving a
campaign finance system that makes them both dependent on wealthy
contributors. In 1996, Ralph Nader was on the ballot in some states
as the Presidential candidate of the Green Party. In 2000, he again
ran as the candidate of the Green Party. He won nearly three million
votes nationwide, close to three percent of the votes cast.
After the election, many
Democrats blamed Ralph Nader for Al Gore's lost to President George W.
Bush. They believed that had Nader not been on the ballot in
Florida, Al Gore would have won the 2000 election.
Gore narrowly won the popular vote with 51,003,926
votes (48.4 percent) over Bush’s 50,460,110 votes (47.9 percent). Nader
came in third with 2,883,105 2.8 votes (2.7% percent).
But under the U.S.
election system, the national popular vote is not used to determine the
U.S. President. Instead, the Electoral College system divides the U.S. presidential election into 51 separate contests (the 50 states and the
District of Columbia).
Most of the states are winner-take all.
A total of 538 electoral
votes, generally given to
states based on population, are up for grabs by the candidates. If no candidate wins the
necessary 270 votes, the election is decided by the U.S. House of
Representatives (which hasn’t happened since 1825).
Ralph Nader ran for
president again as an independent candidate in 2004. In February
2008, he announced that he would officially enter the presidential contest
for the fourth time, as an independent candidate.
Answer the questions below.
1. Ralph Nader's parents were
None of the Above
2. Ralph Nader graduated from Harvard
3. NGO stands for
No Green Organization
Not Giving Organization
National Governors Organization
4. While at Harvard, Ralph Nader
became the editor of the
5. Ralph Nader believes that the
Democratic and Republican parties get too much money from
6. In 1965, Ralph Nader released a study
about U.S. automobiles called
Safe at any Speed.
Unsafe at any Speed.
Safety at any Speed.
None of the Above
7. Ralph Nader ran for U.S. President
in 2000 and 2004.
8. Public Citizen was founded by
9. Ralph Nader inspired many young
activist to work for him. These activist have become known as
Nader's Action Group
10. The U.S. election system uses the
to determine the U.S. President, not the popular vote.
11. Al Gore won the popular vote in
the 2000 U.S. Presidential election.
12. Ralph Nader did freelance writing
for Our Nation and the Science Monitor.
13. Ralph Nader sued
and won money with a public apology.
14. Some Democrats blamed Ralph Nader
lost to George W. Bush in 2000.
15. Ralph Nader has run as an
independent candidate and a candidate for the