Profile of Clarence Darrow
In the Scopes Trial, Darrow, an agnostic, was pitted against political orator William Jennings Bryan, who held a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. Bryan, a former Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, was a Democratic party leader and longtime presidential hopeful who had volunteered to help prosecute Scopes. Bryan took the witness stand in defense of the Bible’s creation story and was subjected to Darrow’s mocking examination of the book of Genesis. The trial’s fame rests on the shouting matches between Darrow and Bryan over science and religion. Although Darrow lost the case, he was depicted at the time as having out-talked Bryan… Darrow was the inspiration for the character of Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind, the 1955 play based on the Scopes trial. Drummond was played by Paul Muni in the original Broadway cast, by George C. Scott in a 1996 Broadway revival, and by Spencer Tracy in the 1960 feature film.
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