GERALD L. BALILES was born in Patrick Country, Virginia. He attended Fishburne Military School and later received a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. After law school, Baliles joined the Virginia Attorney General’s office, where he became recognized for his work in the environmental law. He entered private practice and won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. In 1981, he was elected attorney general, and in 1985, was elected governor. As governor, Baliles appointed the first woman to the Virginia Supreme Court. His legislative initiatives included a major transportation program for the improvement of roads, seaports, airports, and mass transit; programs to fight illiteracy; and efforts to end pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. Governor Baliles chaired the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern States Energy Board, and the National Governors Association. With expertise in aviation and trade, Baliles went on to become a partner in the law firm of Hunton & Williams.