First female U.S. attorney general a polarizing figure
Famously blunt ex-prosecutor later made unsuccessful bid to become Florida governor
MIAMI— Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicentre of several political storms during the Bill Clinton administration, died early Monday. She was 78.
Reno died from complications of Parkinson’s disease, her goddaugh- ter Gabrielle D’Alemberte said. D’Alemberte said Reno spent her final days at home in Miami surrounded by family and friends.
Reno, a former Miami prosecutor who famously told reporters, “I don’t do spin,” served nearly eight years as attorney general under Clinton, the longest stint in a century.
One of the administration’s most recognizable and polarizing figures, Reno faced criticism early in her tenure for the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, where sect leader David Koresh and 80 followers perished.
She was known for deliberating slowly, publicly and in a typically blunt manner. Reno frequently told the public “the buck stops with me,” borrowing the mantra from president Harry S. Truman.
After leaving Washington, Reno returned to Florida and made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2002.
After retiring from politics, Reno, who never married, served on the boards or as an adviser to several organizations.
Asked to describe her legacy after ending her gubernatorial campaign, Reno quoted George Washington:
“If I were to write all that down I might be reduced to tears. I would prefer to drift on down the stream of life and let history make the judgment.”
Janet Reno served nearly eight years in President Bill Clinton’s administration.