United States Attorney General
Current Attorney General
Holder announced on September 25, 2014, that he would resign as soon as his successor was confirmed by the Senate. At the time of the announcement, Holder was the fourth longest tenured attorney general in United States history.
Holder grew up in New York City and graduated from Stuyvesant High School. He then earned his bachelor's degree in American history from Columbia University in 1973 and his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1976. Holder then accepted his first position with the Department of Justice investigating official corruption at all levels of government. President Ronald Reagan nominated Holder for the position of Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1988, a position he held until President Bill Clinton nominated him to become the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C. Clinton nominated Holder for Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno in 1997. Between that appointment and his nomination for U.S. Attorney General, he worked at Covington & Burling LLP, a private law firm in Washington, D.C.
History of the office
According to The United States Department of Justice website, "The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the Office of the Attorney General which evolved over the years into the head of the Department of Justice and chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested. In matters of exceptional gravity or importance the Attorney General appears in person before the Supreme Court. Since the 1870 Act that established the Department of Justice as an executive department of the government of the United States, the Attorney General has guided the world's largest law office and the central agency for enforcement of federal laws."
Attorneys General throughout history
The first Attorney General of the United States was Edmund Jennings Randolph, who served in the position from 1789 to 1794. Below is a table of all other United States Attorneys General, in addition to their years of service. (External links will direct you to official biographies from the United States Department of Justice website.)
The average term in office a United States Attorney General, prior to the current officeholder, is 2.67 years.
- Lw.Cornell.edu, "28 U.S. Code § 503 - Attorney General," accessed April 21, 2015
- WhiteHouse.gov, "The Cabinet," accessed April 21, 2015
- Justice.gov, "Meet the Attorney General," accessed April 21, 2015
- NPR, "Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General," September 25, 2014
- United States Department of Justice, "Official Biography," accessed May 21, 2013
- Justice.gov, "About," accessed April 21, 2015