Clarence Edward Smith was an American religious leader and the founder of the Five-Percent Nation. He converted to the Nation of Islam after his wife joined and took the name Clarence 13X. After leaving the NOI, he formed a new group with other former members. Smith was fatally shot in June 1969; the identity of his killer is unknown.
About Clarence 13X in brief
Clarence Edward Smith was an American religious leader and the founder of the Five-Percent Nation. He was born in Virginia and moved to New York City as a young man, before serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He converted to the Nation of Islam after his wife joined and took the name Clarence 13X. After leaving the NOI, he formed a new group with other former members. He rejected the belief in an invisible God, teaching that God could be found within each black man. He and a few assistants retained some NOI teachings and pioneered novel interpretations of them. He allowed the consumption of alcohol, and at times, the use of illegal drugs. He referred to his new movement as the Five Percenters, referencing a NOI teaching that only five percent of the population knew and promoted the truth about God. Smith was fatally shot in June 1969; the identity of his killer is unknown. He has been held in high regard by Five Percenter, who celebrate his birthday as a holiday. He fathered a child, Clarence Jowers, with Willieen Jowers. Although he married a woman named Dora Smith in 1950, he fathered another child, Otis Jowers,. He also had several sons and daughters with Dora. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in New York in 1969. He is survived by his wife, Dora, and their four children, all of whom live in the United States. The group took a non-hierarchical approach to leadership, and no single leader replaced Clarence 13X.
The movement rebounded after new leadership emerged. It has been called the “Five Percenters” since his death in 1969 and is still in existence today. It is not known if he ever had a formal funeral or when he would have had one. He had no children of his own and fathered several more children with his wife. He also fathered two sons with Doreen Smith, one of whom is still alive. He lived in Harlem and served as a security officer, martial arts instructor, and student minister. His responsibilities included serving on the Fruit of Islam security team and teaching on the martial arts and martial arts teaching team. In 1961, he registered at No. 7 Mosque and changed his name to Clarence X in accordance with practice. By 1963, he had come to the attention of the FBI for his presence at rallies led by Malcolm informant Malcolm 7. The early 1960s were a turbulent time for the Nation of Islam, and he reached the rank of minister at No 7 Mosque. In 1964, he was shot by an unknown assailant in 1964 but survived the attack. After an incident several months later in which he and several of his followers vandalized stores and fought with police,. he was arrested and placed in psychiatric care. In 1966, a Supreme Court ruling by the Supreme Court placed limits on confinement without trial.