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Janet Reno Dead at 78

She was first female US attorney general
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 7, 2016 3:26 AM CST
Updated Nov 7, 2016 5:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as US attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, died early Monday. She was 78. Reno died from complications of Parkinson's disease, her goddaughter Gabrielle D'Alemberte tells the AP. Reno, a former Miami prosecutor who famously told reporters "I don't do spin," served nearly eight years as attorney general under President Bill Clinton, the longest stint in a century. One of the administration's most recognizable and polarizing figures, Reno faced criticism early in her tenure for the deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas.

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After Waco, Reno figured into some of the controversies and scandals that marked the Clinton administration, including Whitewater, Filegate, bungling at the FBI laboratory, Monica Lewinsky, alleged Chinese nuclear spying, and questionable campaign financing in the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election. In the spring of 2000, Reno enraged her hometown's Cuban-American community when she authorized the armed seizure of 5-year-old Elian. The boy was taken from the Little Havana home of his Miami relatives so he could be returned to his father in Cuba. After leaving Washington, Reno returned to Florida and made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2002. (Read more Janet Reno stories.)

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