Howard, who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Bernard and Joy Garson Howard (May 13, 1924 – June 5, 2016), has been a nationally syndicated radio host since 1989, teaching consumers ways to "save more, spend less and avoid rip-offs." The Clark Howard Show is heard every day on more than 200 radio stations throughout North America, and airs from News/Talk WSB, WSB AM/WSBB FM in Atlanta. He is a frequent consumer expert guest on other talk, variety and news programs.
Howard's first career was in the travel agency business. Howard attended the Westminster Schools in Atlanta before graduating from the American University in 1976 with a BA in Urban Government. He went on to receive his Master of Business Administration degree from Central Michigan University in 1977. In 1987, he retired from the travel agency business he founded in 1981 and began giving travel advice in guest appearances on Atlanta radio. His segments were so popular that he was soon given his own radio show. In 1991, Howard also became a consumer affairs TV reporter for WSB-TV, the local ABC affiliate. In 1993, he founded the Consumer Action Center to have volunteers answer consumer questions off the air. Howard's website followed in 1997, and in 1998 his show went into syndication.
Howard explained on air that he was joining the Georgia State Defense Force (an unarmed, non-federal branch of the Georgia Department of Defense) following the September 11 attacks. He attends monthly training workshops around the state as part of his service, and has performed medical evacuation work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
In 2008, Howard was diagnosed with a "little league" cancer of the prostate. He made it public on WSB-TV on February 18, 2009. He gave another update three months later on his Web site.
In August 2017, Howard escaped seriously injury from a car accident. While walking across a parking lot, he spotted a car backing towards him at a high rate of speed after hearing a woman screaming. Recalling a story he read in the news, he jumped in the air to lessen the severity of the impact and thus was only grazed by the vehicle, suffering only minor pain in his neck and shoulder, but no cuts or bruises.
From 2012-2013, Howard was co-host of HLN's "Evening Express," a daily news and lifestyle roundup that aired 5-7pm weeknights.
In 2009, Howard hosted a weekend show on HLN (formerly Headline News). The format was similar to Howard's radio show, in that the host gives advice to callers and provides tips on saving money. In 2012, he became one of several anchors on the daily HLN show "Evening Express," which aired from 5-7pm ET. Howard has also appeared elsewhere on HLN such as on Morning Express with Robin Meade.
Howard continues to regularly appear on WSB-TV in Atlanta, which is occasionally broadcast by other Cox Television stations nationwide. His TV appearances offer consumer scam warnings and consumer tips. He is syndicated by Westwood One.
Although his radio show is supported in part by advertisements, Howard does not do personal product sponsorships or endorsements. This is of note as he often states strongly worded opinions and research, both pro and con, on various consumer issues, companies, and products.
He started several civic programs in the community, such as Atlanta Volunteer Action, Volunteer Action, Inc., The Big Buddy Program, and Career Action.
With help from his listeners, Howard began teaming up with Habitat for Humanity in 1996 to build houses around the Atlanta area. 2010 marked the 15th anniversary build and "Team Clark" completed its 39th house together. In 2013, he built his 50th home for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.
Howard's website, Clark.com, is an extensive resource of money-saving advice from Clark and his numerous contributors, with information on numerous consumer-related topics. In 1993, Howard opened the Team Clark Consumer Action Center, a free call-in advice center for consumer questions.
Howard is the author of several books on consumer tips and bargains. His most recent book (2011) is titled Living Large in Lean Times. This book features 250+ ways to "save more, spend less, and avoid rip-offs." Other books include Clark Smart Real Estate (2006), Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Kids (2005), Clark's Big Book of Bargains (2003) and Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rich From America's Money-Saving Expert (2002). Howard's Get Clark Smart made it to No. 6 on The New York Times "Best Seller" list for "How-To Books." And his Big Book of Bargains made it to No. 7 and No. 11 on The New York Times "Best Seller" list for "Business Books".
In 2011, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him. In 2015, Howard was voted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, to be inducted November 5. In 2016 he was a recipient of the "Good and Faithful Servant Award" from the Peachtree Christian Hospice.Clark Howard's Consumer Survival Kit III (Paperback ed.). Longstreet Pr. 1999. ISBN 1-56352-506-2.
Get Clark Smart : The Ultimate Guide for the Savvy Consumer (Paperback ed.). Longstreet Pr. 2000. ISBN 1-56352-629-8.
Get Clark Smart: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rich from America's Money-Saving Expert (Paperback ed.). Longstreet. 2002. ISBN 078688777X.
Clark's Big Book of Bargains : Clark Howard Teaches You How to Get the Best Deals (Paperback ed.). Longstreet. 2003. ISBN 0-7868-8778-8.
Clark Smart Parents, Clark Smart Kids : Teaching Kids of Every Age the Value of Money (Paperback ed.). Longstreet. 2005. ISBN 0-7868-8779-6.
Clark Smart Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling Real Estate (Paperback ed.). Longstreet. 2006. ISBN 140130785X.
Living Large in Lean Times (Paperback ed.). Penguin Group. 2011. ISBN 1-58333-433-5.
Each book was written with coauthor Mark Meltzer.