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Bruce Babbitt
Bruce Babbitt by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Babbitt in 2019
47th United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
January 22, 1993 – January 19, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Manuel Lujan
Succeeded by Gale Norton
16th Governor of Arizona
In office
March 4, 1978 – January 5, 1987
Preceded by Wesley Bolin
Succeeded by Evan Mecham
19th Attorney General of Arizona
In office
January 6, 1975 – March 4, 1978
Governor Raúl Castro
Wesley Bolin
Preceded by N. Warner Lee
Succeeded by Jack LaSota
Personal details
Bruce Edward Babbitt

(1938-06-27) June 27, 1938 (age 85)
Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Hattie Coons
(m. 1968)
Children 2
Education University of Notre Dame (BS)
Newcastle University (MSc)
Harvard University (JD)

Bruce Edward Babbitt (born June 27, 1938) is an American attorney and politician from the state of Arizona. A member of the Democratic Party, Babbitt served as the 16th governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, and as President Bill Clinton's Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001.

He won election as Arizona Attorney General after graduating from Harvard Law School. He became Governor of Arizona after the death of his predecessor, Wesley Bolin. Babbitt won election to a full term in 1978 and won re-election in 1982. He focused on tax reform, health care, and water management. He helped found the Democratic Leadership Council and sought the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race after the first set of primaries.

In 1988–92, Babbitt served as head of the League of Conservation Voters. Clinton strongly considered nominating Babbitt to the Supreme Court after vacancies arose in 1993 and 1994. After leaving public office in 2001, Babbitt became an attorney with Latham & Watkins.

Personal life

Babbitt was born into a prominent Roman Catholic Flagstaff, Arizona family, the son of Frances B. (Perry) and Paul James Babbitt Sr. His family owned a department store in Flagstaff, a ranch in northern Arizona, and Indian trading posts. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, attended Newcastle University in the United Kingdom on a Marshall Scholarship, and then received his J.D. degree at Harvard Law School.

He married Harriet Coons (known as Hattie) in 1968. She has worked as an attorney in Arizona and Washington, D.C., and served as United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States from 1993 to 1997, and as Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 1997 to 2001 during the Clinton Administration.

As attorney for the Scottsdale Daily Progress newspaper, Babbitt worked with publisher Jonathan Marshall in crafting legislation that became Arizona's "open meeting law."

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