AKA Eliot Laurence Spitzer
Birthplace: Bronx, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government, Attorney
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of New York, 2007-08
Eliot Spitzer's father is an Austrian emigrant and a self-made real estate magnate. He attended private schools, and then he went on to Princeton and Harvard, before joining a successful law firm. He stayed for only two years before joining the Manhattan District Attorney's office, where he spent six years investigating organized crime. In 1992, Spitzer's work toppled the Gambino Crime Family's control of Manhattan's trucking and garment businesses. Returning to private practice, he was twice a candidate for Attorney General, elected on his second try in 1998. His father underwrote his candidacies to the tune of $9M.
In early 2002, an aide in Spitzer's office showed him a stack of internal emails from Merrill Lynch, where company executives blithely acknowledged that they had downgraded stock ratings to scare investors from company that didn't do business with Merrill Lynch; the settlement cost Merrill Lynch $100M. This was the first wave in a multi-state effort prosecuting other investment banks, which overall generated $1.4B in fines. Spitzer said the SEC "missed what was obvious": these were standard-issue conflicts of interest that had existed for decades, but Spitzer came at them with a ferocity that stunned the business world.
Spitzer demanded that the EPA turn over files of 50 power plants they had investigated, but never prosecuted. He led a coalition of 41 states in a price-fixing lawsuit against the five largest music companies and three largest music retailers, resulting in a $143M settlement. He went after Wal-Mart for selling realistic toy guns, pursued WorldCom head Bernard Ebbers for fraud, attacked drug giants GlaxoSmithKline and Pharmacia for price-fixing, and uncovered crookedness in mutual funds markets. Casting a wide net, Spitzer lost plenty of cases too, even high-profile prosecutions. He was criticized for not requiring a straightforward apology from Merrill Lynch, which makes it harder for victimized investors to successfully sue to recoup their losses.
In 2006 he ran for Governor of New York, winning in a landslide with 69% of the vote. On 11 March 2008, following an investigation of what appeared at first to be suspicious financial arrangements, IRS and FBI officials informed reporters that Spitzer had been caught on wiretaps making arrangements for liaisons with rather expensive prostitutes, amounting over time to a figure "as high as $80,000." Without admitting details, he held a press conference (stunned wife by his side) to apologize for his behavior; his resignation took effect within the week. From 2010-11 he hosted In the Arena (formerly Parker Spitzer) on CNN.
Father: Bernard Spitzer (real estate developer)
Mother: Anne Spitzer (literature teacher, Marymount Manhattan College)
Wife: Silda A. Wall (charity executive, Children for Children, sep.)
Daughter: (b. 1990)
Daughter: (b. 1992)
Daughter: (b. 1994)
Slept with: Ashley Alexandra Dupré (prostitute, "Kristen", three diamond rating)
Mistress: Lis Smith (former spokeswoman for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio)
High School: Horace Mann School, Riverdale, NY (1977)
University: Princeton University (1981)
Law School: Harvard Law School (1984)
CNN Host, In the Arena (2010-11)
Governor of New York (4-Jan-2007 to 17-Mar-2008, his resignation)
Attorney General of New York (1999-2007)
Law Clerk for Robert W. Sweet
Skadden, Arps Associate (1982-94)
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Associate
Friends of Hillary
John Kerry for President
New Leadership for America PAC
World Technology Network
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (Sep-2010) · Himself
Inside Job (2-Feb-2010) · Himself
Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (10-Mar-2006) · Himself
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