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Raw Data: Fast Facts on Eliot Spitzer

• Eliot Laurence Spitzer was born in 1959 in New York.

• Described as the most feared man on Wall Street, Spitzer has made a name for himself as a crusader by fighting organized crime and political corruption. He has been dubbed the "sheriff" of Wall Street.

• When Spitzer successfully ran in the fall of 2002 for his second term as attorney general, he was 43 years old. That campaign, like his previous runs, was financed by a small personal fortune.

• The son of a Manhattan real estate developer, Spitzer grew up in Riverdale, N.Y., and attended an elite private school before heading to Princeton University.

• "He's from a rich family," pollster Maurice Carroll told U.S. Banker. "Good schools. A high-powered lawyer. He's not going to be intimidated by some guy who sells stocks and bonds."

• His parents, Anne and Bernard, were first-generation New Yorkers.

• After earning his law degree from Harvard, Spitzer practiced corporate law for a number of years.

• In 1986, he became assistant district attorney for New York state in Manhattan, holding the post for the next six years. During that time he successfully prosecuted several racketeering cases and brought about the reform of the trucking industry in Manhattan.

• He ran for state attorney general in 1994, spending $4 million of his own money. He lost in the 1994 election but was successfully elected in the next election in 1998.

• He brought suit against Midwest power companies for causing acid rain in New York state, a first in the nation.

• New York became the first U.S. state to file a nuisance lawsuit against gun manufacturers.

• In early 2002, Spitzer's office turned its sights on Merrill Lynch, and won an unusual subpoena of e-mail in its system dating back several years. Two weeks after Spitzer's office made the e-mail trail public, the head of Merrill Lynch publicly apologized to shareholders and pledged reform.

• Spitzer ran for his second term as attorney general in Nov. 2002, and this time won by a wide margin.

• In 2003, The San Francisco Chronicle named Spitzer the "Businessperson of the Year," praising him for his protection of small investors.

• According to Spitzer's Web site, the Wall Street Journal praised him for his "public service" in investigating the mutual fund industry

• In 2004, Spitzer took legal action against the owner of power plants in West Virginia for violating federal clean air laws.

• In Dec. 2004, Spitzer announced that he would be running for governor of New York state in 2006.

• Spitzer said "One of the keys to solving the problems of New York is to make state government more responsive and accountable."

• In Sept. 2005, Spitzer indicted eight former Marsh & McLennan Cos. executives for their roles in a bid-rigging scheme

• Spitzer ran for governor of New York in 2006. He was elected with a resounding 69 percent of the vote — the largest first-term landslide in New York history.

• Spitzer and his wife, Silda, live in Manhattan with their three daughters, Elyssa, Sarabeth and Jenna; they also have a house in Columbia County.

Source: Biography Resource Center Online. Gale Group, 2002. Updated: 02/08/2008

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