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In a critical memo written by Lewis Powell to the U. Chamber of Commerce, Powell warned business representatives that Nader "has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans".
Ralph Nader's name appeared in the press as a potential candidate for president for the first time in 1971, when he was offered the opportunity to run as the presidential candidate for the New Party, a progressive split-off from the Democratic Party.
Nader graduated from The Gilbert School in 1951, going on to attend Princeton University.
Though offered a scholarship to Princeton, Nader's father forced him to decline the offer on the grounds that the family was able to pay Nader's tuition and the funds should go to a student who could not afford it.
Nader sued GM for invasion of privacy, settling the case for 5,000 and using the proceeds to found the activist organization the Center for the Study of Responsive Law.
A year following the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed, Congress unanimously enacted the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
He has been repeatedly named to lists of the "100 Most Influential Americans", including those published by Life Magazine, Time Magazine, and The Atlantic, among others.
He ran for President of the United States on several occasions as an independent and third party candidate, using the campaigns to highlight under-reported issues and a perceived need for electoral reform.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John William Mc Cormack said the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was due to the "crusading spirit of one individual who believed he could do something: Ralph Nader".