Eric Holder life and biography

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Eric Holder biography

Date of birth : 1951-01-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2011-10-12
Credited as : Politician, US Attorney General, jUDGE

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Eric H. Holder, Jr. was born in the Bronx, New York, to parents with roots in Barbados.Holder's father, Eric Himpton Holder, Sr. was born in Saint Joseph, Barbados and arrived in the United States at the age of 11. He later became a real estate broker. His mother, Miriam, was born in New Jersey, while his maternal grandparents were immigrants from Saint Philip, Barbados.Holder grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens, and attended public school until the age of 10. When entering the 4th grade he was selected to participate in a program for intellectually-gifted students. In 1969, he graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan and attended Columbia University, where he played freshman basketball and was co-captain of his team. He earned a A.B. degree in American history in 1973. Holder received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, graduating in 1976. He worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during his first summer and the United States Attorney during his second summer.
After graduating from law school, Holder joined the U.S. Justice Department's new Public Integrity Section during an interval lasting from 1976 to 1988.In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Holder to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Holder stepped down from the bench in 1993 to accept an appointment as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from President Bill Clinton. He was the first African-American U.S. Attorney in that office. At the beginning of his tenure, he oversaw the conclusion of the corruption case against Dan Rostenkowski, part of the Congressional Post Office scandal. He was a U.S. Attorney until his elevation to Deputy Attorney General in 1997. Holder also served on The George Washington University's Board of Trustees in 1996 and 1997.
In 1997, after the retirement of Jamie Gorelick, Clinton nominated Holder to be the Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. Holder was confirmed several months later in the Senate by a unanimous vote.During his confirmation hearing, Holder's opposition to the death penalty was questioned, but he pledged his intention to cooperate with the current laws and Reno, saying, "I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but I will enforce the law as this Congress gives it to us." Holder was the first African-American to serve in that position. Holder briefly served as Acting Attorney General under President George W. Bush until the Senate confirmed Bush's nominee John Ashcroft.
Holder was also involved in Clinton's decision to reduce the criminal sentences of 16 members of the Boricua Popular Army, an organization that has been categorized by the FBI as a terrorist organization. The clemency request was initially opposed in 1996 by U.S. Pardons Attorney Margaret Love. When Holder was elevated to Deputy Attorney General in 1997, he was asked to reexamine the issue by three members of Congress. In July 1999, Holder recommended clemency to Clinton with a report from then U.S. Pardons Attorney Roger Adams that neither supported nor opposed clemency. A month later, Clinton granted clemency.
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.

In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita Brands International in a case that involved Chiquita's payment of "protection money" to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a group on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations. In the agreement, Chiquita's officials pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $25 million. Holder represented Chiquita in the civil action that grew out of this criminal case.
In 2008, Holder represented the wife of Robert Wone, victim of a controversial and unsolved 2006 murder.
Holder speaking at a press conference on Guantanamo Bay detainees

In late 2007, Holder joined then-United States Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior legal advisor. He served on Obama's vice presidential selection committee.
On December 1, 2008, Obama announced that Holder would be his nominee for Attorney General. He was formally nominated on January 20, 2009 and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 28. Following his confirmation by the full Senate on February 2, 2009, he became the first African-American Attorney General of the United States. His installation took place on March 27, 2009 at the Lisner Auditorium of the George Washington University.

During his confirmation hearings in the Senate, Holder agreed with Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, that a technique used by U.S. interrogators under the Bush administration known as waterboarding is torture. Holder was confirmed by a 75-21 vote on February 2, 2009.

Holder gave a speech on race relations on February 18, 2009, in the midst of Black History Month, in which he called the United States "a nation of cowards" on racial issues.
On November 13, 2009, Holder announced that accused September 11 attack conspirators Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi would be transferred from the military commissions system to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for trial. He also expressed confidence that an impartial jury would be found "to ensure a fair trial in New York".
In July 2010, Holder flew to Kampala, Uganda, to address the Heads of State Summit of the African Union, where he discussed the Obama Administration's priorities with regards to Africa and the terrorist bombings in Kampala during the World Cup.

Before the November 2010 elections, Holder stated that he planned to prosecute people in California if they possess marijuana even if Californian voters passed a proposition legalizing marijuana (Proposition 19). Proposition 19 was ultimately defeated.
In March 2011 Holder left open the possibility that the Guantánamo Bay terrorist prison camp might live on beyond President Obama’s first term. Asked in a congressional hearing whether the prison would be closed by November 2012, Holder said: "I don’t know". He said the Justice Department has established a task force to look at each of the 172 detainees being held at the Guantánamo prison to address how they should be dealt with. Holder’s comments come just weeks after CIA Director Leon Panetta told a Senate panel that Osama bin Laden would probably be shipped to and held at the Guantánamo Bay facility if he were captured.
Holder is married to Dr. Sharon Malone, an obstetrician; the couple have three children.Malone's sister was Vivian Malone Jones, famous for her part in the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door which led to integration at the University of Alabama.
Holder has been involved with various mentoring programs for inner-city youths. He is also an avid basketball fan.

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