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Eric Holder made history by being appointed as the first African-American U.S. Attorney General under President Barack Obama, and today is his birthday.

Eric Himpton Holder Jr. was born in 1951 in the New York borough of the Bronx to parents of Bajan descent. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. In American History. He then earned a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. While as a freshman at Columbia, Holder involved himself in civil rights actions and Black student affairs.

Holder went on to work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, then joined the U.S. Justice Department. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed holder as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

In 2001, Holder served briefly as the acting U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush, and was famously critical of President Bush’s policies on war and terrorism. His historic appointment under President Obama was made official on January 20, 2009, a day before his birthday. Under President Obama, Holder maintained a reserved, analytical image while at times speaking out on race relations.

Holder stepped down from the post in September 2014. He is now a partner at Washington, D.C. law firm Covington and Burling, the firm he left to join the Obama administration. He and his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone are the parents of three children and reside in Washington, D.C.

PHOTO: PR Photos

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