Bruce Babbitt was sworn in as 47th Secretary of the Interior on January 22, 1993. Babbitt was Governor of Arizona for nine years, 1978-1987, and Attorney General of Arizona, 1975-1978. In 1988 he was a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President.
Born June 27, 1938, Babbitt grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, where his family pioneered a ranching and trading business in the 1880's. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, where he was Student Body President, he received a Masters Degree in geophysics from the University of Newcastle in England which he attended as a Marshall Scholar. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965.
Babbitt, who was in the private practice of law at the time of his nomination to be Interior Secretary, also was national president of the non-partisan, non-profit League of Conservation Voters.
In 1978 he served as a member of the Presidential Commission to investigate the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. He was a founding member of the Democratic Leadership Council and served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 1985. He has been a member of the Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Grand Canyon Trust.
Described by the Almanac of American Politics as one of America's most original "governors, his advocacy led to passage of a nationally acclaimed state water management code in 1980, and in 1986 of a water quality act described by the Los Angeles Times as perhaps "the nation's toughest law to protect underground water."
Babbitt's wife, Harriet, also an attorney, has been appointed Ambassador to the organization of American States. They has two children, Christopher, 17, and T.J, 15.