"My father had a second grade education and my mother had a sixth grade education. There really wasn't any talk about going to college in my family. Their goal was to try to get me through high school."
Alberto Gonzales started life far from the halls of power. One of eight children born to hardworking Mexican-American parents, he grew up in a two-bedroom house his father and uncles built with their own hands. Although none of his brothers and sisters would finish college, Alberto Gonzales put his faith in education and the American Dream. His ambition took him from the United States Air Force, to Harvard Law School, to a seat on the Texas Supreme Court.
When Gonzales's friend and political mentor, George W. Bush, became President of the United States, he asked Gonzales to serve as White House Counsel. In 2004, President Bush appointed Alberto Gonzales to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. As Attorney General of the United States, Gonzales led the Department of Justice from 2005 to 2007, standing in direct line of succession to the Presidency. His was the highest rank ever attained by a Hispanic American in the United States government.