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William Barr

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William P. Barr
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William P. Barr

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States.

He received his bachelor's degree in government and a master's degree in government and Chinese studies, in 1971 and 1973 respectively, from Columbia University. He received his JD degrees with highest honors in 1977 from George Washington University. From 1973 to 1977, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years, with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pitman, Potts & Trowbridge.

At the U.S. Department of Justice, Barr served in the positions of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1989 to 1990, Deputy Attorney General from May 1990 to August 1991 and Acting Attorney General for three months. He was appointed Attorney General by President Bush in 1991. After resigning as Attorney General, he returned to private practice and sits on the boards of directors of several US corporations.

He is vice chairman of the board of directors of the College of William & Mary.

As of 2004 Barr is a Vice President and the General Counsel of Verizon, having served in the same capacity with its predecessor GTE.


Preceded by:
Dick Thornburgh
United States Attorney General
1991–1993
Succeeded by:
Janet Reno

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