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Alberto Gonzales Fast Facts


CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Alberto R. Gonzales, the first Latino US attorney general.


Birth date: August 4, 1955

Birth place: San Antonio, Texas

Birth name: Alberto R. Gonzales

Father: Pablo Gonzales, migrant worker and construction worker

Mother: Maria (Rodriguez) Gonzales

Marriages: Rebecca (Turner) Gonzales (August 31, 1991-present); Diane Clemens (1979-1985, divorced)

Children: with Rebecca (Turner) Gonzales: Gabriel, Graham and Jared

Education: Attended the US Air Force Academy, 1975-1977; Rice University, B.A., 1979; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1982

Military service: US Air Force, 1973-1975

Other Facts

He is the second of eight children.

On the Texas state Supreme Court, was considered a moderate. He voted that teenage girls did not have to get parental permission to get an abortion.


1982-1995 – After graduating from law school, joins the firm of Vinson & Elkins.

1990-1991President of the Houston Hispanic Bar Association.

1991-1994 – Board director for the Texas State Bar Association.

1995-1997 – General counsel to Texas Governor George W. Bush.

1996-1999 – Board trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation.

December 2, 1997-January 10, 1999 – Serves as Texas’ 100th Secretary of State.

1999 Is named Latino Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association and is elected to the American Law Institute.

1999-2001Serves on the Texas Supreme Court.

January 2001-February 2005 – Serves as White House counsel under Bush.

2003 – Is inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Alumni Hall of Fame.

November 10, 2004 – Is nominated by President Bush to be attorney general.

February 3, 2005 – Is confirmed by the US Senate, 60-36.

February 3, 2005-September 17, 2007 – Serves as the 80th attorney general of the United States.

February 6, 2006 – Defends the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

December 7, 2006 – Seven US attorneys are abruptly fired by the Bush administration. Questions about possible political motivations for the removals prompt an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Ultimately, the investigation reveals that nine US attorneys were removed in 2006. The inspector general concludes that the process of removal was “fundamentally flawed.”

March 2007 – Gonzales says he accepts responsibility for the dismissals and adds that firing the US attorneys en masse was a mistake. However, he rejects calls for his resignation.

May 15, 2007 – During a Senate Judiciary hearing related to the removals of the US attorneys, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey describes a 2004 clash with Gonzales while then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was in the hospital. He says that Gonzales and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried to get Ashcroft to reauthorize a warrantless wiretapping program while the attorney general was recovering from surgery in an intensive care unit.

July 24, 2007 – Gonzales testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and disputes Comey’s account of the hospital meeting. He says that he went to the hospital to discuss other intelligence matters, not the domestic surveillance program.

August 27, 2007 – After months of controversy over the domestic surveillance program and the dismissals of US attorneys, Gonzales announces that he is stepping down, effective September 17. Bush says that Gonzales is a “talented and honorable” person whose “good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.”

August 1, 2009 – Begins working as a visiting professor at Texas Tech University, in the political science department. Gonzales will also help the university develop a leadership development program for minority students.

July 21, 2010 – It is announced that Gonzales will not face criminal charges for making inaccurate and misleading statements in regards to the firing of nine US attorneys.

January 2, 2012 – Begins teaching full time at Belmont University’s College of Law in Nashville, as the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law. In 2014, Gonzales becomes the dean of the law school.

September 6, 2016 – Gonzales’ memoir “True Faith and Allegiance: A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace” is published.

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