William Pelham Barr was born on May 23, 1950 in New York City. Mr. Barr received his bachelorís degree in government in 1971 and a masterís degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. Upon his graduation, Mr. Barr worked at the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst and assistant legislative counsel and studied law at night at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He completed his law degree in 1977 and clerked for a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In 1978, following his clerkship, Mr. Barr joined the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge as an associate. He left the firm to work briefly for the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983 on the domestic policy staff, then returned to the law firm and became a partner in 1985.
In 1989, William Barr joined the Justice Departmentís Office of Legal Counsel as an assistant attorney general. He rose to the position of Deputy Attorney General for the Justice Department in April 1989 and was confirmed as Attorney General of the United States on November 20, 1991, serving under President George H.W. Bush until 1993.
William Alan Shirley was born in northern California in 1950. He briefly studied art, writing, political science, and filmmaking in California, New York and France. Essentially self-taught, Shirley specializes in realism portraiture. His portrait of Attorney General Barr was painted in 1994.