From unlikely beginnings on a farm in Scotland, the introverted and media-shy Clark emerged to become the most successful racing drivers of his time and forged a reputation as one of the all-time great heroes of motor sport.
Extracts from the accompanying The Greatest Scot television programme are being added to these biographical notes as the programme is broadcast between November 9 and 13. If you live outside the UK, you will not be able to see these, but you may enjoy other videos about some of the subjects which are available via links in the text,
Jim Clark, junior, was born on March 4, 1936 in Kilmany, Fife, and brought up with his four sisters on the family farm in Scotland's Berwickshire hills.
At 13, he went to Loretto School in Edinburgh and on his 17th birthday he got his driver's license. By then he had left school and was working full time on the farm.
Clark began racing in 1956. He bought a Sunbeam Talbot and began using it to compete in local rallies and driving skill tests. He soon graduated to winning club races in a variety of sportscars entered for him by wealthy enthusiast friends.
He made his first tour of the international circuit in 1960 as a member of the Lotus team.
1965 was the best season of Clark's career. Six consecutive wins in Formula One proved he was a true champion and he walked away with the title, gaining film star status in the process.
He also won the Indianpolis 500 for the first time, effectively leading from start to finish throughout the campaign and becoming the first non-American in a generation to have the honour.
Clark was more than just a sporting hero. He had helped to redefine the standards required in order to become a force in motor racing and was a role model, able to inspire those who came after him.
Jim Clark was, undoubtedly, Scotland's first true motor racing hero and without his influence it is unlikely that the likes of Jackie Stewart or David Coulthard would have emerged.