The Full Wiki

Janet Reno: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Janet Wood Reno

In office
March 11, 1993 – January 20, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by William Barr
Succeeded by John Ashcroft

Born July 21, 1938 (1938-07-21) (age 71)
Miami, Florida,
United States
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard Law School

Janet Wood Reno (born July 21, 1938) is the 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), immigrated 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]

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 this time, allegations about Reno's sexual orientation became a major part of Republican opponent Jack Thompson's campaign against her.

Attorney General

In 1993, Reno was nominated and confirmed as the first female Attorney General under Bill Clinton, after both of his previous nominees, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, had confirmation problems when it was revealed both had previously employed illegal immigrants as nannies. Reno remained Attorney General for the rest of Clinton's presidency, making her the longest-serving Attorney General since William Wirt in 1829.

While Clinton could steer a middle ground between his Democratic supporters and the Republican Congress on monetary issues, Reno's job was at the center of a variety of intractable cultural conflicts. This made her a lightning rod for criticism of the Clinton Administration from activists who often denounced the federal government as a threat to their fundamental freedoms.

At the Justice Department

The following Department of Justice actions occurred during Reno's tenure:

Reno made the decision to remove Elián González from the house and instructed law enforcement officials to determine the best time to obtain the boy. Reno received negative press for her decision.

Post-political life

Reno ran for Governor of Florida in 2002, but lost in the Democratic primary to Bill McBride. Voting problems arose in the election, and she did not concede defeat until a week later.[7] She has since retired from public life but frequently makes guest appearances for Democratic and other political causes.

After her tenure as attorney general and her unsuccessful gubernatorial election bid, Reno tours the country giving speeches on topics relating to the criminal justice system. For example, on March 31, 2006, she spoke at a criminology conference held at the University of Pennsylvania. At this conference, she stated that she believes that the education system in the USA needs to be improved, as there is a link between the quality of education and the crime rate. She also believes that too much money has been diverted away from the juvenile court system and believes that the government should find some way to make the juvenile courts work effectively so as to prevent problems in troubled children and adolescents before these problems are exacerbated by the time these adolescents reach adulthood.[8][9]

In 2001, Reno appeared alongside Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live in the final installment of the recurring sketch "Janet Reno's Dance Party".[10] In another television appearance, on a 2007 Super Bowl XLI TV commercial, Janet Reno was among the guests at Chad Ochocinco's Super Bowl party.[11]

Reno is also curating a compilation of old-time American songs performed by contemporary artists called the Song of America.[12]

Reno also serves on the Board of Directors for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization which assists prisoners who could be exonerated through DNA testing.

On April 17, 2009, Reno was awarded the Justice Award by the American Judicature Society.[13] Eric Holder, Jr, Attorney General under the Obama Administration, presented Reno the award. Seth Andersen, Executive Vice President of AJS said the award recognizes “her commitment to improving our systems of justice and educating Americans about our great common enterprise -- to ensure equality under the law.”[14] The award is the highest given by the AJS, and recognizes significant contributions toward improvements in the administration of justice within the United States.

In popular culture

Miami rapper Anquette dedicated a hit track to Janet Reno in 1989[15], stating "In our town, we have a State Attorney by the name of Janet Reno. She locks brothers up for not paying their child support."

Reno's role in the Elian Gonzalez affair was parodied in the South Park episode Quintuplets 2000.

There was a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live called "Janet Reno Dance Party" in which actor Will Ferrell portrayed Reno. At some point in the sketch, Ferrell (as Reno) would jump through a fake brick wall and begin dancing. Reno herself appeared in one of the sketches.


See also


  1. ^ Biographies of the Attorneys General
  2. ^ a b {{cite news|url=|title=Janet Reno: From Waco to Elian|publisher=[[BBC News Road Tripputs Renoin Moodfor Race The Former Attorney General Plans To Enter The Running For Governor On Tuesday]
  3. ^ "Janet Reno will speak at Florida Southern tonight". Scripps Howard News Service. 2001-09-27. 
  4. ^ {{cite news|title=AFTER ROCKY START, RENO IS ROCK SOLID|publisher=Miami Herald
  5. ^ Reno to Jewell: 'I regret the leak' (July 31, 1997)
  6. ^ "CONTEMPT?". PBS. 1998-08-06. 
  7. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2002-09-18). "Reno Concedes Defeat in Fla. Primary". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ "Department of Criminology News". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  9. ^ Simon, Stephanie (2006-04-03). "Reno: Focus on science of preventing crimes". Daily Pennsylvanian. 
  10. ^ SNL Archives | Impression
  11. ^ Chad Johnson's Super Bowl Party - NFL - Viral Videos - SPIKE
  12. ^ Pitchfork: Devendra, Andrew Bird, Danielson on Janet Reno Comp
  13. ^ "Former Attorney General to Receive National Award" AJS Media Release. January 15, 2009. Retrieved 17 Apr 2009.
  14. ^ "Holder to Present Reno with AJS's Justice Award" Palazzolo, Joe. The BLT:The Blog of Legal Times. April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
  15. ^ "Discogs: Anquette - "Janet Reno"
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Barr
United States Attorney General
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
John Ashcroft

Simple English

Janet Reno

In office
March 11, 1993 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by William Barr
Succeeded by John Ashcroft

Born July 21, 1938 (1938-07-21) (age 72)
Miami, Florida,
United States
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard Law School

Janet Reno (June 21, 1938-) was the United States Attorney General from 1993 to 2001, under President Bill Clinton. She was the first woman to ever have this job.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address