Notable for his leadership of the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Stark also had a distinguished career as an academic, teaching at the University of Minnesota and serving as Moorhead State University's Dean of Students.
After earning a bachelor's degree from Ohio University, he received a graduate degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota and went on to complete a doctorate at Case Western Reserve University.
In the late 1980s, he received the Hennepin County (Minnesota) Bar Association's Advancement of Justice Award.
Raised in New York City by Jewish parents, he later settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife Terri.
He and Anthony Romero both held high-ranking positions within the ACLU.