1. Eric Holder's father emigrated from Barbados when he was about 12, ending up in Queens, N.Y., where Eric Jr. was born and raised. Eric Sr. joined the Army during World War II and later became a real estate broker.
2. The young Eric Holder attended the highly regarded Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, where he played basketball and earned a Regents scholarship.
3. He has always had a love for basketball and fantasized about becoming a professional player like Washington Bullets star Jeff Malone, who is his wife's nephew.
4. Holder graduated in 1973 from Columbia College, majoring in American history. He was immediately accepted into Columbia Law School, where he graduated in 1976.
5. While attending Columbia, Holder spent time in his Harlem neighborhood helping kids at the youth center. He joined the Concerned Black Men, beginning his lifelong role mentoring youth.
6. After graduating from law school, Holder got a job at the Justice Department, where he joined the Public Integrity Unit. One of the high-profile cases Holder helped prosecute was the "Abscam" corruption case involving then South Carolina Rep. John Jenrette.
7. In 1989, Holder met his wife to be, Sharon Malone, at a fundraiser for Concerned Black Men and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is an obstetrician-gynecologist and a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Medical School. They have three children.
8. While in private practice as an attorney at Covington & Burling, Holder represented the National Football League in its investigation of dog-fighting charges against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
9. Legal Times chose him as one of the "Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years."
10. In 1997, Eric Holder became the highest-ranking black American law enforcement official in U.S. history when he was confirmed as deputy attorney general to Janet Reno in 1997. Previously, he was the first black ever to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. If nominated and confirmed, he would be the first black U.S. attorney general.
Clarification: Eric Holder graduated from Columbia College, which is part of Columbia University.