Jan. 22 (Wednesday)

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 John David Ashcroft
Full Name: John David Ashcroft
Born: May. 9, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois

John Ashcroft is an attorney and politician who served two terms as the 50th Governor of Missouri, followed by service as a U.S. Senator. Most Americans never heard of him until he joined President George W. Bush’s administration as the 79th U.S. Attorney General (2001-05) after he lost his Senate re-election bid to a dead man (Mel Carnahan).

Like so many of Bush’s cronies, Ashcroft was a lightning rod for controversy. Many people were appalled as his seemingly Puritanical religious beliefs. (His father and grandfather were both evangelical preachers.) For example, he ordered a bare-breasted statue called “Spirit of Justice” in Justice Department headquarters covered.

Ashcroft was a staunch supporter of the USA Patriot Act and torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He will also be remembered for a song he wrote (and sang) titled “Let the Eagle Soar.” Many people rejoiced when Ashcroft resigned after Bush was re-elected in 2004.