Babbitt, Bruce

Babbitt, Bruce (Edward)

(1938–  ) lawyer, governor, cabinet officer, environmentalist; born in Flagstaff, Ariz. As a Marshall Scholar he attended the University of Newcastle in England (1962) and studied geophysics. After a brief stint with Gulf Oil, he left petroleum geology to earn a degree from Harvard Law School (1965). He worked for Volunteers in Service to America, marched for civil rights in the South, and then went back to Arizona to practice law. A Democrat, he served as Arizona's attorney general (1975–78) and gained a reputation for fighting organized crime in the state. As Arizona's governor (1978–87), he began to gain a national reputation for his role in Democratic Party and governors' affairs. In 1988 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. An ardent outdoorsman, he had been active in many ecological organizations such as the League of Conservation Voters and had received several awards from national environmental groups, so he was well received in many quarters when President Clinton appointed him secretary of the interior (1993).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.