Janet Reno

Government Official

Born: 21 July 1938
Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Best known as: 78th Attorney General of the United States
Janet Reno was the first woman ever to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Born and raised in Dade County, Florida, Janet Reno became the first woman ever appointed to be a State Attorney for Florida. She was re-elected five times, and in 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed her as U.S. Attorney General. One month after her confirmation, Reno took responsibility for the fatal federal showdown with followers of David Koresh at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas. During her term she weathered criticism from Democrats (for enabling the investigation which publicly revealed Clinton's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky) and from Republicans (who often portrayed her as a power-hungry liberal egghead). She also weathered steady parody on shows like Saturday Night Live which poked fun at her for being a tall, not-too-photogenic, unmarried woman. Nonetheless, Janet Reno held the office longer than any attorney general since the Eisenhower administration. She ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida in 2002, but lost to lawyer Bill McBride (who lost in the general election to incumbent Republican Jeb Bush).
Extra credit:

Janet Reno suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, a condition which causes her hands to shake but which did not prevent her from handling her duties as Attorney General… According to a 1993 New York Times profile, Janet Reno is 6 feet 1.5 inches tall… Janet Reno was Clinton’s third choice for Attorney General; his first two choices, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, withdrew after revelations that each had hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny.

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