Politics and Government

U.S. Department of Justice

Who is the top law enforcement officer in the nation?

Eric Holder (1951–) was appointed U.S. attorney general in 2009, becoming the first African American to hold that post. He became the highest-ranking black American law enforcement officer in history in 1997, when he was confirmed as deputy attorney general. He held the number-two post at the Justice Department. He resigned in 2001 and became a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. Holder was born in New York City and educated at Columbia University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1973 and a law degree in 1976. Holder was previously a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Public Integrity Section, and associate justice of the Superior Court in Washington.



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