Eric Holder, who was Janet Reno's number two at the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, was named by President Obama as his choice for the top spot on Dec. 1, 2008. Previously, he served as a member of Mr. Obama vice presidential selection team. CBS News legal analysis Andrew Cohen called him a "smart, safe choice" as he is a widely respected lawyer with over 25 years of experience in Washington. However, he has also garnered controversy for his involvement while at the Justice Department in President Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich.
Since leaving the government in 2001, Holder, 57, has been a partner at Covington & Burling LLP. Prior to becoming deputy attorney general in 1997, Holder was a U.S. Attorney and a judge in Washington. He also spent many years as an attorney at the justice department. His bachelor's and law degree are from Columbia University. If confirmed, he will be the nation's first black attorney general.
Holder was confirmed by the Senate on February 3, 2009.