Nevada Attorney General List - Sequential Order by Term

George A. Nourse - Republican, Elected
December 1864 - January 8, 1867

George Augusta Nourse, born on December 19, 1824, grew up in Hollowell, Kennebec County, Maine.  During his time as a student at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, health issues forced him to leave, and so he went to Aroostook County in Maine and established a farm.

Full Biography

Robert M. Clarke - Republican, Elected
January 7, 1867 - January 2, 1871

Robert M. Clarke, born June 26, 1837, lived his early years in Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio.

After Congress admitted Nevada to the Union on October 31, 1864, and upon the organization of the state government, President Lincoln appointed Robert M. Clarke United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Full Biography

Luther A. Buckner - Democrat, Elected
January 2, 1871 - January 6, 1875

Luther A. Buckner, born in 1848 to a prominent Kentucky family, came to California in 1854.  He later moved to Humboldt County, Nevada, in 1862, and gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar on January 9, 1871.

Full Biography

John R. Kittrell - Democrat, Elected
January 4, 1875 - January 6, 1879

John R. Kittrell was born in North Carolina in 1829.  Although details of his early life and education are uncertain, he apparently remained in North Carolina long enough to be acculturated to the values of “his old south”.

Full Biography

Michael A. Murphy - Republican, Elected
January 6, 1879 - January 1, 1883

Shortly after his birth in New York State in 1837, Michael A. Murphy’s family moved to McHenry County, Illinois.  At age 16, Murphy ventured to California to search for gold and at age 26, he moved to Aurora, Nevada (then in Esmeralda County; present day in Mineral County), to become a miner.

Full Biography

William H. Davenport - Republican, Elected
January 1, 1883 - January 3, 1887

William H. Davenport, born in Delaware in 1831, came west when Nevada still was a territory.  In 1862, he represented Storey County in the Nevada Territorial House of Representatives, and in 1864, he served as the Police Recorder and Justice of the Peace for Virginia City.

Full Biography

John F. Alexander - Republican, Elected
January 3, 1887 - January 5, 1891

John K. Alexander, born in 1853 in Iowa, moved to Nevada with his family 1859 and settled in Virginia City. In 1875, he graduated from the California State University of Agriculture but did not go into farming. On April 4, 1881 , after his admittance to the Nevada State Bar, Alexander entered law practice with W.M. Boardman, a then-distinguished attorney and Washoe County District Attorney in Reno, Nevada.

Full Biography

James D. Torryson - Republican, Elected
January 5, 1891 - January 7, 1895

James Duncan Torreyson, born February 14, 1854, in Wellsburg, West Virginia, moved to Carson City, Nevada, with his family in 1863. At 20 years of age, he returned east to study at Yale University and graduated in 1879. 

Full Biography

Robert M. Beatty - Silver Party*, Elected
January 7, 1895 - December 10, 1896

Robert M. Beatty, born on March 4, 1850, at Mount Morris, Ogle County, Illinois, moved with his family to California in 1852. In 1868, he came to Nevada, studied law in Virginia City, and gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar in White Pine County (Nevada) on July 19, 1871.

Full Biography

James R. Judge - Silver Party*, Appointed
December 21, 1896 - January 2, 1899

James R. Judge, born in Altoona, Huntington County, Pennsylvania, on September 9, 1850, received an education in engineering at St. Francis College Brooklyn Heights, New York. He came to Nevada in 1877 to work for a survey party with the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. 

Full Biography

William D. Jones - Silver Party*, Elected
January 2, 1899 - January 15, 1901

Early information about the life of William Dudley Jones comes from the History of the Bench and Bar of Nevada, Biographies:
Son of Alfred M. and Mary R. Jones. Moved to Austin, Nevada, 1868. Married January 3, 1876, to La Forga F. Birchim. Educated in the public schools for a short period before the Civil War. Admitted to the bar of Nevada 1892. 

Full Biography

William Woodburn - Silver Party*, Appointed
January 15, 1901 to January 5, 1903

William Woodburn, born in County Wicklow, Ireland, on April 14, 1838, immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1849. He attended St. Charles College, Maryland; studied law; and gained admitted to the Nevada State Bar on January 4, 1866. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Woodburn commenced the practice of law in Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada. 

Full Biography

James G. Sweeney - Silver Party*, Elected
January 5, 1903 - January 7, 1907

 James G. Sweeney, born in Carson City, Nevada, on January 24, 1877, and educated in the public schools of Carson City, graduated from St. Mary's College, Oakland, California, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He returned to Carson City; studied law; and at the age of 21, gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar on July 30, 1898. He entered Columbia Law University at Washington, D. C., and graduated with high honors.

Full Biography

Richard C. Stoddard - Silver Party*, Elected
January 7, 1907 - January 2, 1911

Richard Cross Stoddard, born on September 3, 1876, in Reno, Nevada, received his education at the public schools of Reno and Nevada State University (now University of Nevada, Reno).
After studying law at the office of Louis Lamy in San Luis Obispo, California, Stoddard gained admittance to the Nevada State Bar and the California State Bar in 1903. He practiced law for a short period in San Luis Obispo, and then moved to Reno, where he served as Reno City Attorney from 1905 to 1906.

Full Biography

Cleveland H. Baker - Democrat, Elected
January 2, 1911 - December 5, 1912

Cleveland Hall Baker, born in Eureka, Nevada, on June 26, 1883, was the son of early Nevada pioneers G.W. and Mary A. Baker. Baker graduated from the public schools of Oakland, California; Belmont Academy, Belmont, CA; and Leland Stanford Jr. University with an A. M. (artium magister) degree (known today as a Master of Arts degree). 

Full Biography

George B. Thatcher - Democrat, Appointed
December 5, 1912 - January 6, 1919

George Bayard Thatcher, the son of George W. Thatcher and Mary E. (Madigan) Thatcher, was born on July 28, 1882, in Denver, Colorado.  After graduating from the University of Colorado law school in 1904, Thatcher moved to Tonopah, Nevada, where he opened a law practice.

Full Biography

Leonard B. Fowler - Democrat, Elected
January 6, 1919 - January 1, 1923

Leonard Burke Fowler, born October 20, 1877, in Visalia, California, was the son of Thomas and Mary E. (Farley) Fowler.  Educated in the public schools in California from 1894-1897, Fowler graduated from St. Joseph's College, San Jose, California.

Full Biography

Michael A. Diskin - Democrat, Elected
January 1, 1923 - January 5, 1931

Michael Angelo ‘Jack’ Diskin, the son of Thomas and Mary (Halleron) Diskin, was born on January 10, 1884, in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. Diskin graduated from Scottdale High School in June 1900 and attend Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana. In 1907, Diskin graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B), and the Indiana State Bar admitted him as a member of the Bar.

Full Biography

Gray Mashburn - Democrat, Elected
January 5, 1931 - January 4, 1943
Alan H. Bible - Democrat, Elected
January 4, 1943 - January 8, 1951

Alan Bible, son of Jacob (“Jake”) Harvey and Isabel Welsh Bible, was born on November 20, 1909, in Lovelock, Humboldt (now Pershing) County, Nevada.  He attended school in Lovelock in a two-room schoolhouse, but in 1919, after a fire destroyed the Bibles’ home and everything they had, the family moved to Fallon.

Full Biography

William T. Mathews - Democrat, Elected
January 8, 1951 - January 3, 1955

William Thomas Mathews, son of William G. and Susie Y. Middleton Mathews, was born on November 24, 1885, in La Veta, Colorado.  Mathews attended Colorado Agriculture College, and in July 1910, he moved to Elko, Nevada, where he took a job as a locomotive engineer for the Western Pacific Railroad.  On June 17, 1912, Mathews married Veta Emelia Mikkelsen, in Farmington, New Mexico, and on April 2, 1917, their only child, Woodrow George Mathews, was born in Elko.

Full Biography

Harvey Dickerson - Democrat, Elected
January 3, 1955 - January 5, 1959
Roger D. Foley - Democrat, Elected
January 5, 1959 - July 15, 1962

Roger Drummond Foley, born on April 28, 1917, in Goldfield, Nevada, was the eldest of five sons of Federal District Court Judge Roger Thomas Foley and Helen Drummond Foley.  A fire in 1922 destroyed 37 blocks of the town and most of Goldfield’s businesses.  With the loss of economic opportunity, the Foleys moved to Las Vegas in 1928.

Full Biography

Charles E. Springer - Democrat, Appointed
July 15, 1962 - January 7, 1963
Harvey Dickerson - Democrat, Elected
January 7, 1963 - January 5, 1971
Robert List - Republican, Elected
January 5, 1971 - January 1, 1979
Richard H. Bryan - Democrat, Elected
January 1, 1979 - January 3, 1983

The Nevada Attorney General's Office extends a very special thank you to Senator Richard Bryan for providing first-hand details about his life.

Brian McKay - Republican, Elected
January 3, 1983 - January 7, 1991
Frankie Sue Del Papa - Democrat, Elected
January 7, 1991 - January 6, 2003

Frankie Sue Del Papa, born in 1949 in Hawthorne, Nevada, grew up in Tonopah, Nevada. She attended junior high and high school in Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno (“UNR”). In 1971, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Del Papa not only excelled in school, she also honed, and excelled in, her leadership skills while serving as the first female ASUN (“Associated Students of the University of Nevada”) student body president at UNR.

Full Biography

Brian Sandoval - Republican, Elected
January 6, 2003 - November 2, 2005

Brian Sandoval, the son of Ron Sandoval (an FAA maintenance supervisor) and Gloria Gallegos (a legal secretary), was born in Redding, California, on August 5, 1963. A long-time resident of Reno, Sandoval graduated from Bishop Manogue High School in 1981 and from the University of Nevada at Reno in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Economics. In 1984, Sandoval served on the Congressional staff of Senator Paul Laxalt and served as an extern to the Ohio Supreme Court in 1989. In 1989, Sandoval earned his Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and passed the bar exam in Nevada, California and the District of Columbia.

Full Biography

 

 

George J. Chanos - Republican, Appointed
November 2, 2005 - January 1, 2007

George James Chanos, born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on August 3, 1958, spent his childhood between Wisconsin and Las Vegas. Chanos, a member of the high school debate team, graduated from Valley High School in Las Vegas.

Full Biography

Catherine Cortez Masto - Democrat, Elected
January 1, 2007 - January 5, 2015

Catherine Cortez Masto, the daughter of Joanna and Manuel “Manny” Cortez, was born March 29, 1964, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her mother was of Italian descent, and her father’s parents were Mexican immigrants. Her father, who died in 2006, attended Nevada Southern University as a pre-law student and worked nights as a parking attendant. In 1991, he became the chairman of the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Full Biography

Adam Paul Laxalt - Republican, Elected
January 5, 2015 - Present

Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, elected as Nevada's 33rd Attorney General, took office on January 5, 2015, at the time making him the youngest Attorney General in the country.  A former Lieutenant in the United States Navy, the US Navy trained him as a prosecutor and legal advisor.  While serving in Iraq, Laxalt assisted with the detention and prosecution of thousands of war criminals and terrorists.

Full Biography

"General's" Ormsby Court House
The original Nevada Supreme Court building was dedicated in 1937. Construction began before that time. The photo is marked circa 1940, however the NSC building is not showin in this photo. Photo courtesy of former Deputy Attorney General, Jonathan Andrews.
Attorneys General of University of Nevada Reno Alumni
20-Alan Bible
Richard Bryan
Frankie Sue Del Papa
Harvey Dickerson
32-Catherine Cortez Masto
30-Brian Sandoval
Charles Springer
14-Richard Stoddard
* Nevada's Silver Party
1880's and 1890's

The Silver party was a reaction to the economic depression of Nevada and The West during the 1880’s and 1890’s and a fight against the banking interests of the eastern states who advocated a tight money scheme and the gold standard. The "Free Silver" party, active from 1892-1911, was based on promoting the bimetallic money standard using both silver and gold as legal tender in unlimited amounts to stabilize rates and supply.  Those out West believed that the two national political parties did not reflect their interests.  Of course, there were other political parties at this time that ran candidates, including, the Prohibition Party, Greenback Party, Populist Party, and the Socialist Party.  Sometimes, the Silver Party did not run their own candidates but endorsed the other party’s candidates; hence, there are political history designations such as S-D and D-S, meaning that the Silver Party, at their nominating convention, also endorsed the Democratic candidate for the office.