Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Richard L. Thornburgh (1989–1991): Attorney General

Richard Lewis Thornburgh was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 16, 1932. He earned a B.S. in Engineering from Yale University (1954) and an LL.B. from the University of Pittsburgh (1957).

Thornburgh worked in the Justice Department for many years, serving as United States attorney in Pittsburgh (1969-1975) and assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division (1975-1977). He was governor of Pennsylvania for two terms, elected first in 1978 and then reelected 1982.

Thornburgh was U.S. attorney general in the presidential administrations of both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush (1988-1991). He was also undersecretary-general at the United Nations (1992-1993). Thornburgh is a member of the board of directors of Elan Corporation and is now with the firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart in Washington, D.C.