This Day in Black History: Feb. 2, 2009

This Day in Black History: Feb. 2, 2009

Eric Holder becomes first African-American to be named Attorney General of the United States on Feb. 2, 2009.

Published February 2, 2014

The U.S. Senate confirmed Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, making him the first African-American in the nation to hold the post.

Holder previously served as a judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and as a United States Attorney. While in that position, he led the prosecution of Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat from Illinois, on charges of corruption. He also served as Deputy Attorney General in the administration of President Bill Clinton. 

Born in the Bronx to parents with roots in Barbados, Holder attended Columbia University and Columbia Law School. He worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during one summer. 

He was a U.S. Attorney until his elevation to Deputy Attorney General in 1997 under Attorney General Janet Reno. Holder also served on board of trustees of George Washington University in 1996 and 1997.

From 2001 until he became Attorney General, Holder worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League. He represented the NFL during its dog fighting investigation against Michael Vick.

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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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