A List of US Attorney Generals

From 1960 to 1980

Facade of the White House


Glowimages / Getty Images

The US Attorney General (AG) is the head of the US Department of Justice and is the chief law enforcement officer of the US government. These are the Attorney Generals from 1960 to 1980.

Griffin Boyette Bell, 72nd Attorney General

Griffin B. Bell
Georgia Public Broadcasting

Bell served as attorney general (President Carter) from Jan. 26, 1977 to Aug. 16, 1979. He was born in Americus, GA (Oct. 31, 1918) and attended Georgia Southwestern College and Mercer Univerity Law School. He was a major in the US Army in WWII. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Bell to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Bell led the effort to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978. He served on President George H.W. Bush's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform and was counsel to President Bush during the Iran-Contra affair.

Edward Hirsch Levi, 71st Attorney General

Edward Hirsch Levi
University of Chicago Photo

Levi served as attorney general (President Bush) from Jan. 14, 1975 to Jan. 20, 1977. He was born in Chicago, IL (May 9, 1942) and attended the University of Chicago and Yale University. During WWII, he served in the DOJ Anti-Trust Division. Before being named AG, he was served in various leadership roles at the the Univeristy of Chicago, being named president in 1968. He was also a member of the White House Task Force on Education, 1966 to 1967. Died March 7, 2000.

William Bart Saxbe, 70th Attorney General

William Bart Saxbe
DOJ Photo

Saxbe served as attorney general (Presidents Nixon, Ford) from Dec. 17, 1973 to Jan. 14, 1975. He was born in Mechanicsburg, OH (June 24, 1916) and attended Ohio State University. He served in the military from 1940 to 1952. Saxbe was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1946 and and served as speaker of the house in 1953 and 1954. He served three terms as Ohio AG. He was US Senator when Nixon appointed him AG. John Glenn (D) was replaced Saxbe in the Senate.

Elliot Lee Richardson, 69th Attorney General

Elliot Lee Richardson
Dept. of Commerce Photo

Richardson served as attorney general (President Nixon) from May 25, 1973 to Oct. 20, 1973. He was born in Boston, MA (July 20, 1920) and attended Harvard University. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1945. He was Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare for Legislation 1957 to 1959. From 1959 to 1961 he was US Attorney for Massachusetts. Before being named AG, he was Nixon's Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and, for four months, Secretary of Defense. He resigned rather than execute an order from Nixon to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation (Saturday Night Massacre). Ford made him Secretary of Commerce; he is the only American to serve in four Cabinet-level positions. Died Dec. 31, 1999.

Richard G. Kleindienst, 68th Attorney General

Richard G. Kleindienst
DOJ Photo

Kleindienst served as attorney general (President Nixon) from Feb. 15, 1972 to May 25, 1973. He was born in Winslow, AZ (Aug. 5, 1923) and attended Harvard University. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. Kleindienst served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1953 to 1954. He was in private practice before becoming Deputy AG in 1969. He resigned in the midst of the Watergate scandal, the same day (April 30, 1973) that John Dean was fired and H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman quit. He was convicted of a misdemeanor for perjury during his testimony in the Senate during his confirmation hearings. Died Feb. 3, 2000.

John Newton Mitchell, 67th Attorney General

Mitchell served as attorney general (President Nixon) from Jan. 20, 1969 to Feb. 15, 1972. He was born in Detroit, MI (Sept. 5, 1913) and attended Fordham University and St. John's University Law School. He served in the Navy during WWII. He was Nixon's former law partner and 1968 campaign manager. A principal during Watergate, Mitchell became the first AG to be convicted of illegal acts -- conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. He served 19 months before being released on parole for medical reasons. Died Nov. 9, 1988.

Ramsey Clark, 66th Attorney General

Ramsey Clark
White House Photo

Clark served as attorney general (President Johnson) from March 10, 1967 to Jan. 20, 1969. He was born in Dallas, TX (Dec. 18, 1927) and attended the University of Texas and the University of Chicago. He was the son of Tom C. Clark, the 59th AG and Supreme Court Justice. Clark served in the Marine Corps 1945 to 1946. He was in private practice before joining DOJ in 1961. As Attorney General, he oversaw prosecution of the Boston Five for "conspiracy to aid and abet draft resistance." In 1974, he unsuccessfully ran for the Senate (in NY) as a Democrat. Died Jan. 20, 1969.

Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach, 65th Attorney General

White House Photo

Katzenbach served as attorney general (President Johnson) from Jan. 28, 1965 to Sep. 30, 1966. He was born in Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 17, 1922) and attended Princeton University and Yale University. From 1947 to 1949 he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. He was in private practice and a law professor before joining DOJ in 1961. He was Under Secretary of State from 1966 to 1969. After leaving public service, he worked for IBM and became an MCI director. He testified on behalf of President Clinton during his House impeachment hearing.

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, 64th Attorney General

Robert Kennedy
White House Photo

Kennedy served as attorney general (Presidents Kennedy, Johnson) from Jan. 20, 1968 to Sep. 3, 1964. He was born in Boston, MA (Nov. 20, 1925) and attended Harvard University and the University of Virginia Law School. He served in the US Naval Reserve as from 1943 to 1944 and joined the DOJ in 1951. He managed John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign. As AG, he persued an active and public fight against organized crime and for civil rights. He successfully ran for Senator from NY in 1964, positioning himself for a run for the White House. Died June 6, 1968 while campaigning for president.

William Pierce Rogers, 63rd Attorney General

William Rogers
Dept. of State Photo

Rogers served as attorney general (President Eisenhower) from Oct. 23, 1957 to Jan. 20, 1961. He was born in Norfolk, NY (June 23, 1913) and attended Colgate University and Cornell University Law School. From 1942 to 1946 he served as lieutenant commander in the US Navy. He was chief counsel of the Senate War Investigating Committee and chief counsel of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He was in private practice before joining DOJ in 1953. He was Secretary of State from 1969 to 1973; he led the the Rogers Commission, which investigated the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. Died: Jan. 2, 2002.