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John Ashcroft

Gov. John Ashcroft

  • January 14, 1985 - January 11, 1993
  • Republican
  • May 9, 1942
  • Illinois
  • Yale University, University of Chicago, Southwest Missouri State University
  • Married Janet Ashcroft; three children
  • NGA Chair
  • Senator, Cabinet secretary


JOHN ASHCROFT graduated with honors from Yale University in 1964 and received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1967. He was an associate professor on the business faculty at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. He and his wife, Janet, have coauthored two business law textbooks, in addition to authoring numerous professional articles. He was appointed state auditor in 1972, was elected state attorney general in 1976, and was reelected in 1980. He is a former president of the National Association of Attorneys General. He was appointed by the Reagan administration to serve on the U.S. Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence in 1983 and in 1986 was appointed to the Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Affairs. He has served as chair of the Education Commission of the States, the Republican Governors Association, and the National Governors Association. Ashcroft was elected governor of Missouri in 1984 and held that office until 1993. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate where he served from 1995 to 2001. In 2000, he was named U.S. Attorney General by President George W. Bush. He resigned in 2004 and took a teaching position at Regent University.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO)

Official Manual of the State of Missouri (2005-2006)
Previous editions are not available online, but are in hard copy in the State Archives.

Whitehouse Web site (John Ashcroft’s recent biography)

Recent Missouri Governors