1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Eric Holder: Attorney General



Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pauses while speaking during a memorial service for the Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing at Arlington National Cemetery
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Eric H. Holder, Jr., is currently serving under President Barak Obama as the nation’s 82nd, and first African-American Attorney General.

Holder, then the Deputy Attorney General, served as a senior legal advisor to the Obama presidential campaign team and as a member of Obama’s vice-presidential selection committee.

The Attorney General serves as the head of the Department of Justice, a Cabinet-level agency. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive branch departments. In addition, the Attorney General oversees the work of the U.S. Attorneys based throughout the United States. The Attorney General is fourth in the line of presidential succession behind the secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense.

Relevant Experience
Right out of law school, Holder worked for the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1976 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993, Holder served as a Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia through an appointment by President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, he accepted an appointment by President Bill Clinton as a U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1997, President Clinton promoted Holder to the position of Deputy Attorney General, which he held until nominated as Attorney General by President Obama.

Early Life and Education
Eric H. Holder, Jr., was born on was born Jan. 21, 1951, in the Bronx borough of New York City. Selected in fourth grade as an intellectually-gifted student, he went on to graduate from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. Holder attended Columbia University, earning a B.A. in American history in 1973. He went on to receive his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1976.

Family Life
Holder is married to obstetrician Dr. Sharon Malone. The Holder’s have three children. Dr. Malone’s sister Vivian Malone Jones, is known for her role in the 1963 integration of the University of Alabama.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.