Janet Reno, the first female attorney general of the United States, died today due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. She was 78. Reno held her position from 1993 to 2001, and is the second longest serving attorney general in the country’s history.
Her tenure as head of the Department of Justice was notable for its prosecutions of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, for filing an antitrust suit against Microsoft, suing the tobacco industry, the capture of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and the controversial return of 6-year-old refugee Elian Gonzalez to Cuba.
After her time in the Clinton White House, she campaigned to be the Democratic candidate for governor in her home state of Florida in 2002, but lost the primary election. After her Washington career ended, she spoke around the country about the criminal justice system and sat on the board of directors of the Innocence Project.
Read on for seven of the attorney’s insights about hard work and adhering to your beliefs:
1. “I’m just delighted to be here, and I’m going to try my level best.”
2. “I made the decision long ago that to be afraid would be to diminish my life.”
3. “I’m not fancy. I’m what I appear to be.”
4. “The good lawyer is the great salesman.”
5. “I just try to do my best and make the best judgments I can.”
6. “Just remember: strength and courage. If you stand on principle, you’ll never lose.”
7. “Until the day I die, or until the day I can’t think anymore, I want to be involved in the issues that I care about.”