Reno, Janet rē´nō [key], 1938–2016, U.S. attorney general (1993–2001), b. Miami, Fla.; grad. Harvard Law School (1963). As assistant state's attorney (1973–76) and state's attorney (1976–93) for Dade Co., Fla., she became known for her attention to children's rights, drug cases, and juvenile justice reform. In 1993 she was appointed U.S. attorney general by President Clinton, becoming the first woman to hold the office. In her first year in office she came under national scrutiny for her role in the Waco, Tex., shootout between federal officers and Branch Davidians. Under Reno, the Justice Dept. took a relatively unaggressive stance on many law-enforcement issues, while pursuing a number of high-profile antitrust cases. She was the longest-serving attorney general of the 20th cent. Reno sought the 2002 Democratic nomination for Florida governor but narrowly lost the primary.
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