Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. was the first African American Attorney General of the United States. He was born on January 2, 1951, to Eric and Miriam Holder in New York City. Eric and Miriam had both migrated from Barbados. Eric worked as a real estate agent and Miriam worked as a telephone operator. Holder initially attended a public school in Queens, but later got selected to attend a school for intellectually advanced children. This was mainly a white majority school, which was very different from what Holder had been used to. He then qualified to attend an elite private school called Stuyvesant High School, which was an hour and a half away from his neighborhood in Queens.
Not only was Holder academically gifted, he was also an active sportsman, serving as the captain of the basketball team at school. He graduated from high school in 1969, after which he received a Regents Scholarship. He chose to attend Columbia University. He was very active in college, where he played basketball, was interested in theatre and drama, and also coached youth programs. He graduated from Columbia in 1973 with a degree in American History, and then attended Columbia Law School. During law school, Holder also served as a clerk at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense Fund, as well as the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976.
As part of the Honors program, Eric Holder was offered a job at the attorney general’s office. He was placed in the Public Integrity Section, which was a division set up to prosecute criminal activity at official levels. In 1988, he was nominated to be an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan. He tried hundreds of criminal and civil cases in that capacity. In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated him for the post of U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., making him the first African American to hold that position. In that capacity, he worked to reduce