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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement on the Passing of Janet Reno

When Janet Reno arrived in Washington in 1993, the city had never seen anyone like her before – and hasn't since. She rose from a childhood on the edge of the Everglades to become our nation's first female Attorney General, a position she held for longer than anyone in 150 years. 

The daughter of reporters – including a mother who literally wrestled alligators – Janet was tough as nails and never cowered in her fight for what was right.  In her 15 years as Miami-Dade's top prosecutor, she helped reform juvenile justice, created Miami’s drug court, and made protecting children the center of her work. As Attorney General, she insisted on transparency and accountability.  Throughout her tenure, marked by high-profile, complicated cases, Janet was unflappable, never losing her candor, sense of humor, or love of kayaking on the Potomac.  Above all, she was committed to the defining mission of the Justice Department – ensuring that all Americans are treated equal under the law.

Janet Reno was an American original, a public servant whose intellect, integrity, and fierce commitment to justice helped shape our nation's legal landscape. Her legacy lives on in a generation of lawyers she inspired, the ordinary lives she touched, and a nation that is more just.  Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to her family and all who loved and admired her.