This Day in Black History: Feb. 2, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 01:  Attorney general-select Eric Holder (C) speaks as President-elect Barack Obama (L) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY (R) listen at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel December 01, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. Other members of the National Security Team named by Obama at the press conference include Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as his choice for homeland security and he said Robert Gates would remain as defense secretary.  Retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones was selected for the position of national security adviser and Susan Rice as U.N. ambassador.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Hillary Clinton;Barack Obama;Eric Holder

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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