Birthday: January 21, 1944
Age: 77 Years, 77 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Kimba Maureen Wood
Born in: Port Townsend, Washington
Famous as: Judge
political ideology: Democratic
Spouse/Ex-: Frank E. Richardson II (m. 1999), Robert Lovejoy (m. 1970–1982)
U.S. State: Washington
education: London School of Economics, Harvard Law School, Connecticut College
Who is Kimba Wood?
Kimba Maureen Wood is a Senior United States District Judge currently serving in the Southern District of New York. Over the course of her three-decade long career in the judiciary system, she has gained public attention for presiding over cases involving personalities such as "Junk Bond King" Michael Milken, Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate Dean Skelos, and Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. A native of Washington, Wood spent her early life in Europe. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in government, she successfully pursued an M.S. degree in political theory and in 1969, received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. Wood began her career in the American justice system as a private practitioner at a firm in Washington, D.C. She briefly left private practice to work for the Office of Economic Opportunity before moving to New York and returning to private practice. In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan appointed her to a seat in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 2006, she assumed the duties of the Chief Judge and in 2009, she was made the Senior Judge. Wood was one of the choices of Bill Clinton’s administration for US Attorney General but, at the advent of the Nannygate scandal, her nomination was hastily withdrawn.
Childhood & Early Life
Kimba Wood was born on January 21, 1944, in Port Townsend, Washington. She was named after a South Australian town her mother found in an Atlas. Her father was a career officer and served in the US Army as a speechwriter. She spent her youth travelling all over Europe because of her father’s profession. While the family was in Paris, France, she studied at the Sorbonne.
After graduating high school, she enrolled at Connecticut College to pursue a degree in government and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree on the subject in 1965. After this, she attended the London School of Economics, from where she earned her Master of Science degree in political theory in 1966.
During this period, Wood grew interested in becoming a Playboy bunny and even spent five days in training. However, she left prior to joining a club.
She subsequently returned to America to study at the Harvard Law School, where she was one of the fewer than 20 female students. In 1969, she got her Juris Doctor.
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Kimba Wood began her legal career as a private practitioner, working for Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. She was their only female attorney. In 1970, she left the private sector to work at the Office of Economic Opportunity.
In 1971, she resigned from her post at the Office of Economic Opportunity and moved to New York City, where she returned to the private sector once more. Between 1971 and 1988, she served as the anti-trust law expert at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae.
Rising through the male-dominated world of anti-trust law, she was made a partner in the firm in 1978. Her reputation grew over the course of the next decade.
In 1987, New York’s Republican Senator Al D'Amato recommended her as a possible candidate to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to US President Ronald Reagan.
On December 18, 1987, President Reagan nominated her to the said office which had been previously held by Judge Constance Baker Motley. Her nomination was confirmed by a unanimous United States Senate on April 19, 1988.
Receiving her commission on 20 April 1988, Kimba Wood assumed her duties on 28 July. Between 2006 and 2007, she served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 2006, she became the Chief Judge and three years later, she was made the Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In January 1993, after Bill Clinton was elected as the President of the United States, he nominated corporate lawyer Zoë Baird as his Attorney General. The choice drew massive criticism as it was revealed that she and her husband had hired two undocumented immigrants from Peru to serve as the nanny and chauffeur for their young child, effectively breaking federal law in the process. Furthermore, they had not paid the required social security taxes for the workers.
While Clinton and his administration did not consider it to be a serious issue, the “Nannygate”, as the revelation came to be known, caused a political storm and eventually, Baird’s nomination was withdrawn.
Wood was Clinton’s second choice. However, Clinton’s preference was leaked to the press and within a day, it came out that she too had hired an undocumented immigrant to take care of her son.
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While, unlike Baird, Wood had employed her nanny when it was legal to do so and paid the social security taxes, the disclosure was enough to cause the immediate withdrawal of her nomination.
White House Officials told the reporters that the administration was angry with Wood for not revealing the information to the president or other members of the administration but Wood has maintained that she had never misled the White House. Eventually, Janet Reno was selected for the office.
In 1990, Kimba Wood sentenced “Junk Bond King" Michael Milken to ten years in prison. A year later, the sentence was changed to two years' imprisonment and three years' probation when the prosecutors requested it because of Milken’s cooperation in other investigations.
On July 8, 2010, she received the guilty pleas of the ten “illegal” Russian defendants involved in the illegals program and gave all of them the sentences of the time already served. The ten individuals were later sent back to Russia in exchange for four American prisoners who had been held in Russia.
In 2016, she was the presiding judge in the case against Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate Dean Skelos. Accused of federal corruption charges, Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison and his son, Adam, to six-and-a-half years in prison. However, the convictions were later vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In April 2018, Wood agreed to serve as the presiding judge on the motions that came up after the search pursuant to warrant of the home and office of Michael Cohen, who had been a personal attorney of the current US President Donald Trump until he was fired in May 2018.
Kimba Wood has been married three times. Her first husband was Robert Lovejoy, a fellow lawyer and partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. They married in 1970 and afterwards, she added his surname to her name, going by Kimba Wood Lovejoy. They divorced in 1982.
She married her second husband, Time magazine political columnist Michael Kramer, in the same year her first marriage was dissolved. In 1986, she gave birth to their son, whom they named Ben. This relationship ended in a divorce as well.
Soon after her separation from Kramer, Wood began a passionate relationship with her former Harvard classmate Frank E. Richardson II, who was married at the time. During Richardson’s highly publicised divorce proceedings, Wood became a co-respondent and Richardson’s diary entries where he talked about their relationship became public. After his divorce was finalised, they married in 1999.
Wood officiated the wedding of progressive financier George Soros and education consultant Tamiko Bolton in 2013.