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.