Spitzer, Eliot Laurence

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Eliot Laurence Spitzer, 1959–, U.S. lawyer and politician, b. Riverdale, N.Y., grad. Princeton (B.A. 1981), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1984). A Democrat, he practiced corporate law before serving (1986–92) as assistant New York State district attorney for Manhattan and earning a reputation for crime-fighting, especially for his prosecution of racketeers and corruption in the trucking industry. He ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 1994, but was elected to the office in 1998 and 2002. Strongly anticorruption and proconsumer, he was particularly active in investigating wrongdoing by financial institutions. In 2006 he ran for governor of New York and won in the largest landslide in state history, but revelations of a relationship with a prostitute led to his resignation in 2008 after 14 months in office.

See studies B. A. Masters (2006) and P. Elkind (2010).