Ken Starr

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Ken Starr : biography

21 July 1946 –

Kenneth Winston Starr (born July 21, 1946) is an American lawyer and educational administrator who has also been a federal judge. He carried out controversial investigation of figures during the Clinton administration.

Starr served as a federal Court of Appeals judge and as Solicitor General for George H. W. Bush. He received the most publicity for his tenure as Independent Counsel while Bill Clinton was U.S. president. Starr was initially appointed to investigate the suicide death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of Bill Clinton. The three-judge panel charged with administering the Independent Counsel Act later expanded the inquiry into numerous areas including an extramarital affair that Bill Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky. After several years of investigation Starr filed the Starr Report which alleged that Bill Clinton had lied about existence of the affair during a sworn deposition. The allegation opened the door for the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the five-year suspension of Clinton’s law license.

Starr currently serves as the president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and serves on the board of trustees at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Early life

Ken Starr was born near Vernon, Texas, and was raised in Centerville. His father was a minister in the Churches of Christ who also worked as a barber. Starr attended Sam Houston High School in San Antonio and was a popular, straight‑A student. He was voted most likely to succeed by his classmates.Black, Jane , BBC, 1998-11-09, accessed 2009-06-25

In 1970 Starr married Alice Mendell, who was raised Jewish but converted to Christianity.

Published works


Starr first attended the Church of Christ-affiliated Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he was an honor student, a member of the Young Democrats club, and a vocal supporter of Vietnam protesters. He later transferred to The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1968. During his time at The George Washington University, Starr was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, a professional foreign service fraternity. Starr worked for the Southwestern Company. He later attended Brown University where he earned master’s degree in 1969 and then went to Duke University School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1973. Starr was not drafted for military service during the Vietnam War, as he was classified 4‑F, because of a case of psoriasis.

Federal Judge and Solicitor General

Starr was nominated for a judgeship on United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Ronald Reagan and served from 1983 to 1989. He was the United States Solicitor General from 1989 to 1993 under President George H. W. Bush.

President of Baylor University

Waco Tribune-Herald

The official inauguration of Ken Starr as the 14th president of Baylor University was held Friday, September 17, 2010, where Stephen L. Carter was the keynote speaker., Baylor University.

Waco Tribune-Herald

Independent Counsel


In August 1994 pursuant to the newly reauthorized Ethics in Government Act (), Starr was appointed by a special three-judge division of the D.C. Circuit to continue the Whitewater investigation.In re GRAND JURY SUBPOENAS DUCES TECUM, [ 78 F.3d 1307] (8th Cir. 1996) He replaced Robert B. Fiske, a moderate Republican who had been appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno. Although Starr and other independent counsels were later criticized as unaccountable and unstoppable, the statute gave the attorney general and the Special Division the authority to remove an independent counsel.

Starr took the position part-time and remained active with his law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, as this was permitted by statute and was also the norm with previous independent counsel investigations . See also , accessed 2009-06-25. As time went on, however, Starr was increasingly criticized for alleged conflicts of interest stemming from his continuing association with Kirkland & Ellis. Kirkland, like several other major law firms, was representing clients in litigation with the government, including tobacco companies and auto manufacturers. The firm itself was being sued by the Resolution Trust Company, a government agency involved in the Whitewater matter. Additionally, Starr’s own actions were challenged because Starr had, on one occasion, talked with lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing President Clinton over an alleged sexual assault. Starr had explained to them why he believed that sitting U.S. presidents are not immune to civil suit.(When this constitutional issue ultimately reached the Supreme Court, the justices unanimously agreed.)