Date Of Birth:
21 May 1959
Place Of Birth:
Greensboro, North Carolina
Best Known As:
U.S. Attorney General, 2015-2017
Loretta Lynch served as Attorney General of the United States from 2015-2017. She was the first black woman ever to hold the position. Loretta Elizabeth Lynch was born in North Carolina; her father was a Baptist minister and her mother a school librarian. She made her way to Harvard, where she earned an undergraduate degree in 1981 and a law degree in 1984. Lynch spent the next six years as a litigation lawyer at the New York firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, but in 1990 she joined the Justice Department as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. She rose to the position of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (1999); while in that position, she oversaw the high-profile 1999 case of Abner Louima, helping to win conviction of two police officers for beating and abusing the Haitian immigrant with a broom handle. In 2001 she returned to private practice as a partner with the firm of Hogan & Hartson, and she was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003-05. In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated her to again serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; four years later, on November 8, 2014, he nominated her to replace the departing Eric Holder as Attorney General. In nominating her, President Obama said Loretta Lynch had a “fierce commitment to equal justice” and said “She’s not about splash, she is about substance.” The New York Times said of her, “In a city full of larger-than-life characters who conduct their careers like political campaigns, Ms. Lynch is mild, unflappable and somewhat unknowable.” Her confirmation was delayed by political maneuvering in the U.S. Senate, but the Senate finally confirmed her on April 23, 2015. She served in the job until Obama left office in January of 2017. Lynch was succeeded as Attorney General by Jeff Sessions.
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