Clarence C. “Buddy” Malone was born on 25 October 1928. He attended North Carolina Central University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1951 and his law degree in 1959. He opened a private practice in Durham in 1961, the first black law firm in the city, which served as a training ground for many lawyers graduating from NCCU.
In the early 1960s, Malone was frequently called upon to represent protestors arrested during civil rights demonstrations in North Carolina. His notable cases include those resulting from the May 1963 mass arrests in Greensboro and May 1964 demonstration in Chapel Hill. Malone also took on cases in Fayetteville and Elizabeth City, and frequently served as a consultant to the NAACP and CORE for similar cases throughout the state and region. Clarence Malone died on February 10, 2001, at the age of 72.