Clark graduated from American University in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in urban development and from Central Michigan University in 1977 with a master's degree in business management. In 1981, he founded and opened his own business, a travel agency. Only 6 years later in 1987, he sold his successful chain of travel agencies and decided to retire a millionaire at the young age of 32.
A few years later, Clark was discovered on an Atlanta radio program where he was asked as a guest to give advice on inexpensive travel. He quickly made his way back into the public and out of retirement. In 1993, he opened the Consumer Action Center, staffed by over 140 volunteers which offer advice as a service to consumers.