|Party||In Office Since||Term Ends|
|Level of Government|
|Council of State|
|Date of Birth||Birthplace||Now Lives In|
|June 13, 1957||Nashville, NC||Raleigh, NC|
Roy Cooper is North Carolina's top cop. The son of a country lawyer, he was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in 1986 and named to the state Senate in 1991. He was elected Attorney General in 2000 and again in 2004 and 2008, when he was the top vote-getter. As the state's top law enforcement official, he's focused on fighting sexual predators, methamphatemine use and predatory lending. He was criticized for retrying former death row inmate Alan Gell and gained national media attention for dropping all charges in the Duke lacrosse case. Despite widespread expectations, he declined to run for U.S. Senate in 2009.
Friends still call him by his childhood nickname, "Coop."
Daughters, Hilary, Natalie and Claire
Roy Cooper is the three-term state attorney general.
Early Life and Education
Roy Asberry Cooper III was born June 13, 1957, in Nashville, N.C., to Beverly and Roy Cooper Jr. His father was a farmer and a country lawyer; his mother, a school teacher.
As a teen-ager, Cooper worked in his father's tobacco fields.
In high school, he played basketball and football, where he was the quarterback. He graduated from Northern Nash High, just outside Rocky Mount, in 1975.
He then attended UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar, graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology and political science in 1979.
While a law student at UNC in 1980, he was appointed to the state Goals and Policy Board by Gov. Jim Hunt.
He earned a law degree in 1982.
Cooper worked in a family law firm, specializing in civil suits, personal injury cases and insurance defense. He was awarded an AV rating, the highest mark, by Martindale-Hubbell for his courtroom work.
A Presbyterian, he has served as a Sunday school teacher, church deacon and elder.
Cooper ran for public office for the first time in 1986, beating a 12-term state House incumbent with 76 percent of the vote.
He was named to the state Senate in 1991, serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee.
In 1997, his colleagues chose him as the Democratic Majority Leader.
As a legislator, he pushed for juvenile justice reform, crime victims' rights and predatory lending regulation, among other things. He wrote the state's first children's health insurance initiative.
In December of 1999, then-Gov Hunt inducted him into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Hunt had earlier inducted him in December of 1980.
He was elected Attorney General in 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008.
His first race was the most hard-fought. Cooper defeated Raleigh attorney Dan Boyce 51 to 46 percent by outspending him four-to-one and airing an attack ad that said Boyce had overbilled in a class-action lawsuit against the state.
He was criticized for retrying former death row inmate Alan Gell and gained national media attention for dropping all charges in the Duke lacrosse case.
He also won a lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority for polluting Western North Carolina air.
He reportedly considered running for governor in 2008, but instead chose to run for re-election.
That year, he won the most votes of any statewide candidate, defeating challenger Bob Crumley, 61 to 39 percent.
Cooper was widely expected to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010 to face off against Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
Research and reporting by Ryan Teague Beckwith.
|N.C. Department of Justice
9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-9001
|Roy Cooper Campaign
P.O. Box 10587, Raleigh, N.C. 27605
|bachelor of arts