Janet Reno

Janet Reno is the first woman Attorney General of the United States of America. Nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993. She was again appointed in 1997 by President Clinton and remains Attorney General of the United States.

Attorney General of the United States Janet Reno has several key priorities: * Reduce crime and violence by incarcerating serious, repeat offenders and finding alternative forms of punishment for first time, non-violent offenders. * Focus on prevention and early intervention efforts to keep children away from gangs, drugs and violence and on the road to strong, healthy and self-sufficient lives. * Enforce civil rights laws to ensure equal opportunity for all Americans. * Ensure that the Department of Justice reflects a diverse government, making integrity, excellence and professionalism the hallmarks of the Department.

This is now. The early life and career of Janet Reno helps us understand the reasons why Janet Reno is the remarkable person she is. Born on July 21, 1938 in Miami, Florida. Her father, Henry Reno, came to the United States from Denmark and for forty-three years was a police reporter for the Miami Herald. Jane Wood, Reno's mother, raised her children and then became an investigative reporter for the Miami News. Janet Reno has three younger siblings. Strong roots for a strong woman

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

In 1960 Janet Reno enrolled at Harvard Law School, one of only sixteen women in a class of more than 500 students. She received her LL.B. from Harvard three years later. Despite her Harvard degree, she had difficulty obtaining work as a lawyer because she was a woman.

In 1971Janet Reno was named staff director of the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives. 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.

In 1978, Reno was appointed State Attorney General for 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. She helped reform the juvenile justice system and pursued delinquent fathers for child support payments and established the Miami Drug Court.

The strength, vision, tenacity and commitment of Janet Reno makes her a role model for all who seek justice. Women's International Center is privileged to present the 1997 Living Legacy Award to Janet Reno in honor of her many contributions.

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