2004 Vote Profile: Ralph Nader

Nader reached the pinnacle of his influence during the 1970s. He was widely credited with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the Freedom of Information Act in 1974, and a 1971 Harris Poll named him the sixth-most popular American. When Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, several of Nader's top proteges were chosen for administration positions.

But as the decadent '80s began, Nader's tireless campaigns against big business began to fall out of favor with the public. By 1985, he headed just two of the many consumer agencies he had founded, and his influence was fading.

In 1986, his brother Shafeek died of prostate cancer, and Nader suffered from depression. But he rebounded by pressing the car industry to mass-produce air bags and, in so doing, introduced himself to a new generation of activists.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
Lisa Kudrow
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library | Getty Images
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.
Courtesy 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels, LLC
PHOTO: Motorists were startled when an axe from a dump truck in front of them flew at their windshield.
Massachusetts State Police/Facebook