Eric H. Holder, Jr. is a senior legal advisor to President-Elect Barack Obama. He is reportedly the leading candidate to become the next Attorney General of the United States under Obama’s administration.

Update: It is official. Michael Isikoff of Newsweek has broken the news. The next Attorney General of the United States is Eric Holder.

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Eric Holder is one of Barack Obama’s leading candidates for Attorney General. If appointed, he would be the country’s first African American Attorney General. He was a senior advisor to Obama’s campaign and a member of his Vice Presidential search committee. John McCain criticized Barack Obama for hiring Holder, because many in the Republican party questioned Holder’s character. Holder recommended the pardon of Mark Rich as Deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton’s administration. At the time, Republicans highly criticized Clinton’s pardon of Rich, a Democratic commodities trader who fled to Europe to avoid charges of tax evasion and illegal deals with Iran. Because Rich was well-connected in the Democratic party, he never had to face punishment for his crimes.

Eric H. Holder, Jr. Biography

Eric Holder was born in 1951 in New York City. His parents were immigrants from Barbados. He grew up in Queens and graduated from Stuyvesant High School, a magnet high school in Manhattan. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in 1973 and a J.D. in 1976. Holder began his career as a trial attorney in the Justice Department. Ronald Reagan appointed him as a Associate Judge in the District of Columbia in 1988.

Bill Clinton appointed Holder as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1993. In 1997, Clinton appointed him as Deputy Attorney General, the first African American to hold the position.

Holder served as Acting Attorney General under President George W. Bush until the Senate confirmed John Ashcroft. A resident of Washington, D.C., Holder is currently a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. For Barack Obama’s campaign, Holder served as a senior legal advisor and a member of Obama’s vice presidential selection committee. He is married and has three children.