biographical data

Keith Ellison biography: 13 things about Minnesota’s 30th attorney general

Keith Maurice Ellison is an African-American Muslim from Minnesota, United States. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He was born in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA. He was raised Catholic in Detroit. His father Leonard Ellison is a psychiatrist while his mother Clida Martinez Ellison is a social worker. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)
  2. In 1981, he graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in Detroit. (a)
  3. In 1986, he graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit. (a) (b)
  4. When he was 19 years old, he converted to Islam. A Sunni Muslim, he neither drinks alcohol nor eats pork. (c) (d)
  5. In 1987, he married his high school sweetheart Kim Ellison. They have four children together. (c) (d)
  6. In 1990, he earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. (a) (b)
  7. While he was never been a member of the Nation of Islam, he spent 18 months organizing a Minnesota contingent to the Million Man March, a large gathering of African-American men in Washington, D.C., USA on October 16, 1995. He later apologized to the Jewish community and many in the community accepted the apology. (c)
  8. As a lawyer, he represented the mother of Tycel Caprice Nelson, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis Police Department officer Daniel May on December 1, 1990, and Stephen Porter, who accused Minneapolis Police Department officers Todd Babekuhl and Jeff Jindra of sexual assault in 2003. (e)
  9. From January 7, 2003 to January 3, 2007, he was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. (a)
  10. As a Democrat, he was elected to the One Hundred Tenth and to the five succeeding Congresses from January 3, 2007 to January 3, 2019. He is the first Muslim elected to U.S. Congress and the first African-American to represent Minnesota. (a) (b)
  11. In February 2009, he was one of the first members of the U.S. Congress to visit Gaza after Israel’s attacks to weaken Hamas. (c)
  12. As a Democrat, he won the general election on November 6, 2018 as the attorney general of Minnesota, making him the first African-American person elected to statewide office in Minnesota. He assumed office on January 7, 2019, making him the 30th person to hold the position. (a)
  13. He was 57 years old when he served as a lead prosecutor in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin. On April 20, 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (b) (e)



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