Janet Reno

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Janet Wood Reno (born July 21, 1938) is a former Attorney General of the United States (1993–2001).[1] She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11. She was the first female Attorney General and the second longest serving Attorney General after William Wirt.


Early life and career

Reno's father, Henry Olaf Reno (original surname Rasmussen), emigrated to the United States from Denmark and for forty-three years was a police reporter for the Miami Herald.[2] Jane Wallace (née Wood), Reno's mother, raised her children and then became an investigative reporter for the Miami News.[2] Janet Reno has three younger siblings.

Reno attended public school in Miami-Dade County, Florida, where she was a debating champion and was valedictorian at Coral Gables High School. In 1956, Reno enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she majored in chemistry,[3] lived in Balch Hall, became president of the Women's Self-Government Association, and earned her room and board.

Reno was named staff director of the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives in 1971. She helped revise the Florida court system. In 1973, she accepted a position with the Dade County State's Attorney's Office. She left the state's attorney's office in 1976 to become a partner in a private law firm.[4]

State Attorney

In 1978, Reno was appointed State Attorney for Dade County (now called Miami-Dade County). She was elected to the Office of State Attorney in November 1978 and was returned to office by the voters four more times. During her tenure as state attorney, Reno began what the PBS series Frontline described as a "crusade" against accused child abusers.[5] According to the St. Petersburg Times:

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