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Kenneth Mack

to Eric H. Holder, Sr., a Realtor who emigrated from Barbados, and Miriam Holder (formerly Miriam Rosalie Yearwood), an Episcopal Church secretary, who was a New Jersey native of Barbadian ancestry. Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. grew up in a black middle class enclave in East Elmhurst, Queens. His life took a significant turn when his test scores earned him a place as one of the few black students admitted to Stuyvesant High School, where he played basketball before attending Columbia College (B.A., American History, 1973), and Columbia Law School (J.D., 1976). The tall (six feet, three inches) and popular Holder, called “Ricky” in his youth, entered Columbia at a turbulent time in its history, and participated in a black student takeover of the school’s former ROTC office, as well as a program to mentor poor Harlem children on the weekends.

Upon graduation from law school Holder began his ...