Loretta Lynch was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and attended Durham High School in Durham, North Carolina. Lynch (far right) is the second of three children and the only girl. She has an older brother Lorenzo Lynch, Jr., and a younger brother, Leonzo Lynch. [Washington Post]
Lynch comes from a long line of preachers. Her father, Rev. Lorenzo Lynch, is a retired fourth generation Baptist minister. Her mother, Lorine Lynch, was a school librarian. They both encouraged her to pursue an education and to follow her dreams. [
Lynch became inspired to practice law after watching her grandfather help Blacks flee the Jim Crow South and move up North. “I realized the power the law had over your life and how important it was that the people who wield that power look to each situation with a sense of fairness and evenhandedness,” she said.
Lynch turned down a full scholarship for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to attend Harvard. She graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English and American Literature. She later received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Harvard Law School in 1984.
Lynch was quite the well-rounded student. In high school, she was president of the literary club, director of the senior class play and worked at a local fast food restaurant in her spare time. She even joined the cheerleading squad when she went to college. Go, Loretta! [Washington Post]
While attending Harvard College, Lynch helped charter the university’s first Black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
As a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, Lynch oversaw the prosecution team in the civil rights case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was beaten and sexually assaulted by Brooklyn police officers. “I was extremely proud to be a part of that team,” she said. The officers were convicted and are serving up to 30 years in jail.
Lynch met her husband Stephen Hargrove when she began her partnership at Hogan and Hartson law firm (now Hogan Lovells). They’ve been married since 2007 and together, they’re raising two children from Hargrove’s previous marriage. [Washington Post]
Lynch worked pro-bono for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, an organization established to prosecute those responsible for the1994 genocide in that country. Lynch calls her involvement “her most gratifying work.”
What does the future U.S. Attorney General do for fun and relaxation? She plays tennis! Loretta Lynch tells The Network Journal that she loves to play tennis to de-stress. She also relaxes by spending time with her husband and two stepchildren.
Lynch, 55, is the first African-American woman in history to serve as U.S. Attorney General. She was sworn in using Frederick Douglass’ bible and with the support of President Obama and Former Attorney General Eric Holder himself, who recommended Lynch as his successor when he announced that he was stepping down last September.