Eliot Spitzer Biography
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Eliot Laurence Spitzer
Born in: The Bronx, New York City, New York
Famous as: 54th Governor of New York
Spouse/Ex-: Silda Wall Spitzer (m. 1987–2014)
father: Bernard Spitzer
mother: Anne Spitzer
children: Elyssa Spitzer, Jenna Spitzer, Sarabeth Spitzer
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: Princeton University, Harvard Law School
Eliot Laurence Spitzer is an American politician, attorney, and college professor. He served as the 54th Governor of New York for around a year. He had a promising career ahead, which was cut short by the discovery of his frequent use of an escort service following which he was forced to resign. As a youth, Spitzer studied at the Harvard Law School where he worked for Alan Dershowitz, a well-known law professor. He also served as the editor of the Harvard Law Review. Later, he worked for a law firm. He eventually joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where he spent a few years fighting organized crime. As a member of the Democratic Party, Spitzer ran for the post of the State Attorney General, but lost. Years later, he was elected the Governor of New York after he won 69 percent of the vote. However, several months later, the ‘New York Times’ reported that they had discovered him patronizing the service of a prostitute at a fancy hotel in Washington. Spitzer later apologized and stepped down from his post. Since his resignation from the post, he has been working as a television host and an adjunct instructor.
- Eliot Laurence Spitzer was born on June 10, 1959 in the Bronx, New York as the son of Bernard Spitzer, a real estate mogul, and his wife Anne, who was a professor of English literature. Spitzer is the youngest of three children and he was raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
- He studied at the Horace Mann School and later at the Princeton University from where he got his bachelor’s degree. Later he went to the Harvard Law School. During his time at Harvard, he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. It was also during this time that he met his future wife Silda Wall.
- After Eliot Spitzer received his degree in law, he worked as a clerk for Judge Robert W Sweet of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. He later worked at the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison law firm. He next joined the office of the Manhattan District Attorney Robert M Morgenthau. From 1986 to 1992, he spent his time fighting organized crime.
- After leaving the District Attorney’s office in 1992, he went to work at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. From around 1994 to 1998, he worked at another law firm named Constantine and Partners.
- At the age of 34, Eliot Spitzer decided to run as a Democrat in the 1994 election for Attorney General. He suggested that if elected, he would pursue corporate polluters. He received heavy funding from his own family, but still placed last among the four Democratic candidates for the nomination. Karen Burstein, who was the only woman and gay candidate, won with 31% of the vote.
- Despite losing, Spitzer decided to run again for the post of Attorney General after four years. After defeating State Senator Catherine Abate, he was elected as the Attorney General of New York. He ran for a re-election in 2002, and had a remarkable victory once again after he defeated Republican Judge Dora Irizarry.
- During his tenure, he took up several civil actions and criminal prosecutions relating to corporate white collar crime, internet fraud, securities fraud, and environmental protection. He also commissioned a study of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices. Because of his battles against corporate abuses, he was also endorsed as a possible candidate for vice president. However, his approach was described as ‘egregious and unacceptable’ by the president of the US Chamber of Commerce.
- Spitzer was elected the Governor of New York in November 2006 after he successfully defeated Republican John Faso and Libertarian John Clifton. He won with 69 percent of the vote. Because of his eccentric ways, he was at odds with the powerful Republican leader of the state Senate. Though one of his key campaign pledges was to reform the state budget process, many were disappointed with what he actually achieved.
- Eliot Spitzer kindled controversies for several reasons. In September 2007, he issued an executive order directing that state offices allow illegal immigrants to be issued driver’s licenses from December. It drew massive criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats. A majority of New Yorkers opposed this plan and Spitzer withdrew it.
- According to critics, his plan would have allowed illegal aliens to obtain official identification, which would have compromised the security improvements that had been made since 9/11.
- He was accused of cutting off $300,000 from the state funding for health care and education in the Schenectady area. This was in retaliation to James Tedisco’s opposition of his plan to allow driver’s licenses to the illegal immigrants of New York. He was also accused of pandering to the interests of specific groups in order to gain their support.
- In 2008, it was discovered that Spitzer was using the services of an escort service named ‘Emperors Club VIP’. According to a complaint filed by prosecutors, Spitzer had paid thousands of dollars to a prostitute named Kristen. However, she refused to comment on how she met Spitzer and how much time they spent together.
- According to reports by investigators, Spitzer had paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years since he was the attorney general. He first drew attention of federal investigators when it was reported by his bank that there were suspicious money transfers under the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act.
- Eliot Spitzer eventually gave a public apology and resigned from his office on 17th March 2008. He was succeeded by lieutenant governor David Paterson.
- Years later, in 2016, he was investigated by the New York City Police Department after being accused of assault by a Russian woman named Svetlana Travis Zakharova. The ‘New York Daily’ reported that he had attacked her, which led to her attempting suicide. However, she later recanted her accusations. Months later, Travis herself faced charges of forgery and identity theft from an unrelated incident.
- In 2009, Eliot Spitzer joined the faculty of the City College of New York as an adjunct instructor of political science. He has also worked as a television host. He became an active investor in an Israeli company named Tipranks as well.
- After his father’s death in 2014, he also started leading the family’s real estate business.
- Eliot Spitzer got married to Silda Wall on 17th October 1987. The couple has three daughters: Elyssa, Sarabeth, and Jenna. Spitzer and his wife reportedly separated in 2013.
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