For Clarence Earl Gideon, who spent much of his early life home­less and his entire life in poverty, the crim­inal theft pros­e­cu­tion that made him a house­hold name was just one of many legal chal­lenges. A low-​​wage worker, Gideon undoubt­edly expe­ri­enced some of the exploita­tion typ­ical of that job sector. In his auto­bi­og­raphy, Gideon said that the low wages that he received as an elec­tri­cian forced him to rely on gam­bling pro­ceeds to main­tain his mar­ginal exis­tence. On the family side, his six chil­dren were taken by child wel­fare authorities.

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