Eric Himpton Holder, Jr.

Holder, Eric Himpton, Jr., 1951–, U.S. lawyer and government official, b. Queens, N.Y., grad. Columbia (B.A. 1973, J.D. 1976). He was a trial attorney with the U.S. Justice Dept. from 1976 to 1988, when he was appointed a superior court judge for the District of Columbia. In 1993 he returned to the Justice Dept. as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, becoming the first African American to serve in that position. He subsequently served as deputy attorney general (1997–2001) under Janet Reno and was briefly acting U.S. attorney general (2001). In private practice from 2001, he was nominated to be U.S. attorney general in 2009 by President Barack Obama; Holder is the first African American to be named to the post.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies