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Historical Biography

Deputy Attorney General: William D. Ruckelshaus

Portrait of Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus
Ruckelshaus, William D.
13th Deputy Attorney General, -

William D. Ruckelshaus was the 13th Deputy Attorney General of the United States. He served as the Department’s second-ranking official from September to October 1973.

At the time of his nomination by President Richard M. Nixon for the post of Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Ruckelshaus was Special Assistant to the Attorney General, a position he attained in July 1973 after serving for several months as Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Ruckelshaus was the first Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1970 to 1973. Prior to his leadership of the EPA, he was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division at the Department of Justice (1969 to 1970); a member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1967 to 1969); and chief counsel in the Staff Attorney General’s Office in Indianapolis (1960 to 1965). Mr. Ruckelshaus began his career in law with the Indianapolis firm of Ruckelshaus, Bobbitt & O’Connor (1960 to 1968).

A native of Indiana, Mr. Ruckelshaus served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. He subsequently graduated from Princeton University (A.B., cum laude, 1957) and Harvard University (LL.B., 1960).

Updated February 29, 2024