Janet Reno Dies at 78

Janet RenoJanet Reno, the first woman to serve as attorney general of the United States, died this morning at her home in Miami-Dade County, Florida, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch released the following statement:

With the passing of Janet Reno, the Department of Justice has lost one of the most effective, decisive and well-respected leaders in its proud history.  From her years in state law enforcement to her long and eventful tenure as Attorney General, Janet Reno always strove, as she put it, to do her ‘level best.’  She led the department in a time of turmoil and change, confronting issues ranging from international and domestic terrorism to fair competition in the emerging technology sector.  In meeting these challenges, she was guided by one simple test: to do what the law and the facts required.  She accepted the results of that test regardless of which way the political winds were blowing.  She never shied from criticism or shirked responsibility, earning her the affection of her subordinates, the respect of her critics, and the esteem of the American people.  And of course, as the first woman to serve as attorney general, she was an inspiration and a trailblazer for so many women working in law enforcement and government — including me.  The United States is a stronger, safer and more just place because of Janet Reno’s leadership, and she will be dearly missed.

Earlier this year, NAFUSA became a Founding Donor of the Janet Reno Endowment at Georgetown University, having made a $10,000 contribution.