Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that he expects to resign in "the months ahead."
After nearly six years as the country's chief law-enforcement official, Holder said he will leave upon his successor's confirmation. He was the first African-American appointed attorney general, and his tenure in the office likely will be the third-longest in history.
Holder, 63, spoke to reporters at the White House. He called the opportunity to serve as attorney general his "greatest honor." He thanked President Obama, who has not revealed his choice for the next Justice Department chief.
Holder said that, as a child, he was inspired by Attorney General Robert Kennedy's support of civil rights. He pledged to "never leave the work," and to "continue to serve" in some capacity.
"The department can, and must, always be a force for that which is right," Holder said. "I hope that I have done honor to the faith you placed in me, Mr. President, and to the legacy of all those that served before me."
The Huffington Post reported that, according to a department spokesman, Holder discussed his plans several times with the president in recent months. He reportedly made his final decision during the Labor Day weekend.
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