Clark is a 22-year veteran of the news business starting his career in Cashiers at the Cashiers Crossroads Chronicle in Jackson County, N.C. He also served as a general assignment reporter at the Transylvania Times in Brevard and as the editor of the Chowan Herald in Edenton, N.C., his hometown, and the Milford Beacon in Milford, Del. He also served as the publisher of the Standard Laconic in Greene County, N.C. He graduated from Western Carolina University with B.A. in English. Cliff is married to Martha, the principal of Valle Crucis Elementary School, and they have two teenage daughters, Maggie and Liz.