He received both his bachelor's degree in Government and his Master's degree in Chinese Studies from Columbia University.
Three days after he became Attorney General in 1991, he had to deal with a hostage situation at the Talladega federal prison.
He has three daughters with his wife Christine Moynihan, who he married in 1973.
He was appointed to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel by George H.W. Bush in 1989.