Eric Holder

Lawyer / Government Official

Born: 21 January 1951
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Best known as:

Attorney General of the United States, 2009-2015

Name at birth: Eric Holder, Jr.

Eric Holder is the veteran lawyer who served as U.S. Attorney General under President Barack Obama from 2009-15. Eric Holder is a graduate of Columbia University (1973) and Columbia Law School (1976). He joined the Department of Justice straight out of law school, working his way through the ranks until becoming an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1988. He remained a judge until appointed by Bill Clinton as U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia (1993-97), then served as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno from 1997 until 2001, when Clinton left office. Holder's last days in that post were tangled in controversy after he gave an opinion of "neutral, leaning toward favorable" for Clinton's last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. The Rich pardon caused an outcry, and Holder was blamed for his opinion and accused of being too chummy with Rich's lawyer, Jack Quinn. Holder then went into private practice with the corporate legal firm of Covington & Burling in 2001 and remained there through 2008. In 2007 he became a co-chair of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Obama won the presidency in November 2008, and nominated Eric Holder to become Attorney General; Holder was confirmed by the Senate on 2 February 2009. Eric Holder served through all of Obama's first term and the first half of his second; he announced on 25 September 2014 that he would step down from the post, although he remained on the job until April of 2015, when Loretta Lynch was confirmed as his replacement by the U.S. Senate.

Extra credit:

Eric Holder was the first African-American to serve as Attorney General. His successor, Loretta Lynch, became the first African-American woman to serve in the job... Eric Holder's wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, is an obstetrician. She graduated from Harvard (1981) and Columbia Medical School. They have three children: Maya, Brooke and Eric. Holder rarely speaks publicly about his children; a 1 March 2001 article in The Washington Post identified them as ages 7, 5 and 3, and Eric Holder's bio as a trustee of Georgetown Day School identifies his daughters as "Maya '11 and Brooke '14"... Eric Holder and Barack Obama both got undergraduate degrees from Columbia; Holder graduated 10 years before Obama... Eric Holder's father, Eric Sr., was a native of Barbados who emigrated to the U.S. as a boy.

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