10 Things You Didn't Know About Alberto Gonzales
1. Alberto Gonzales was born in San Antonio on Aug. 4, 1955. He was the second of eight children born to Pablo and Maria Gonzales, who had met as migrant farm workers. The family settled in Humble, Texas (just north of Houston), in a two-bedroom home, which his father and uncles built. The house lacked hot water and the family did not have a telephone until Gonzales was in high school. Gonzales has said that his father's self-reliance and hard work strongly influenced his own political views. Pablo Gonzales died in a work-related fall in 1982.
2. As a child, Gonzales sold soft drinks to fans attending Rice University football games. The school made a big impression on the 12-year-old, and he dreamed of attending college there one day.
3. At MacArthur High School, Gonzales was an honor student and an athlete. He played varsity baseball and was a defensive back and linebacker on the football team.
4. Following his 1973 high school graduation, Gonzales had no money to continue his education, so he joined the Air Force. After two years stationed in Fort Yukon, Alaska, he entered the Air Force Academy, hoping to become a pilot. He was the first in his family to attend college.
5. Gonzales became interested in law after taking a political science class at the academy. Years later, he explained how he decided what to do: "I put it in God's hands. I'd apply to transfer to Rice, and if accepted would pursue a legal career. If denied, I'd continue my military career." Gonzales did get into Rice, transferred to his childhood dream school, and changed his field. After graduating in 1979, he went on to Harvard Law School.
6. In 1982, Gonzales joined the prominent Houston law firm Vinson & Elkins as a corporate attorney. In the early 1990s, then President George H.W. Bush tried to recruit him to join the administration, but Gonzales declined, saying that he wanted to make partner. He did so in 1991, becoming one of the first minority partners in the firm's history.
7. Gonzales has had a long association with President George W. Bush. In 1995, he joined the administration of the then Texas governor as his general counsel. Since then, he has served as Texas secretary of state, state Supreme Court justice, and, following the 2001 presidential election, White House counsel and attorney general.
8. He is married to Rebecca Turner Gonzales. They have three sons: Graham, Gabriel, and Jared.
9. Some of his friends call Gonzales "Al," but his nickname in the White House is "the Judge."
10. His hobbies include racquetball and golf.
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Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
U.S. News & World Report