Eric Holder has been nominated by President-elect Barack Obama to be Attorney General of the United States. Holder served as Obama’s Senior Legal Advisor during the President-elect’s campaign; a position he retains. If approved the position as Attorney General would make Holder the head of the Department of Justice the first African American to hold the position.
Who is Eric Holder?
Bio Brief: Eric Holder was born in New York City in 1951, grew up in Queens, and graduated Stuyvesant High School. His father, originally from Barbados, was a veteran of World War II, and a real estate broker. He dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player. Eric completed his undergraduate study in American History, and earned his law degree, both at Columbia University.
Steady rise: After graduating, Holder was hired at the Justice Department in the Public Integrity Unit. He later served as a District of Columbia Superior Court judge. In 1997, he was confirmed as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno.
Lifelong Mentor: While he was a student at Columbia, Holder worked with children at an area youth center and joined the Concerned Black Men, an organization that focuses on mentoring youth. It was at a fundraiser for Concerned Black Men where Holder met medical student Sharon Malone. He married the Harvard University and Columbia Medical School graduate. She is an obstetrician, and they have three children.
Recent Facts: Holder is a partner at Washington D.C. law firm, Covington & Burling. When the National Football League investigated the charges against Michael Vick for dog fighting, Holder represented the NFL. He once considered running for mayor of Washington, D.C. Legal Times recently named Holder one of the “Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years.”
Flurry of Firsts:
- First African American to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
- Highest-ranking black American law enforcement official in U.S. history when he was confirmed as deputy attorney general to Janet Reno (1997)
- If confirmed, he will be the first black U.S. attorney general.
by Cesca Janece Waterfield