Janet Reno dies at 78: All you need to know about the first female Attorney General of US

She served as Attorney General of the United States, from 1993 to 2001 after being nominated by the then President Bill Clinton.

Janet Reno
Former US Attorney General Janet Reno testifies before the 9-11 commission in the Hart Senate office. Reuters

The first female Attorney General of United States, Janet Reno, has died on Monday after her prolonged battle with Parkinson's disease.

According to reports, Reno's goddaughter, Gabrielle D'Alemberte, confirmed the news by saying that she passed away today morning, at the age of 78, from complications of the central nervous system disease.

Reno rose to prominence during her term as the attorney general and was by far the most recognisable figure during Clinton administration. During her tenure, she came under scrutiny twice.

The first explosive event took place in 1993 when a deadly raid was carried out in the compounds of a religious cult, known as Branch Davidians, in Waco in Texas after the group was suspected to have possession of illegal weapons by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Reno faced flak, for the second time, after she angered her hometown, Miami's Cuban-American community following the seizure of Elian Gonzalez, a young Cuban refugee by federal agents in 2000.

Here are all the things you need to know about the American leader:

• Reno was born in Miami, Florida in 1938 to a journalist couple and had three younger siblings.

• She was indeed a bright student. Reno took interest in debating from a very young age. She majored in chemistry from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York following which she became president of the Women's Self-Government Association. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1963 and worked as an attorney for two Miami law firms till 1971

• She helped revise the Florida court system after she was named staff director of the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives in 1971.

• She served as Attorney General of the United States, from 1993 to 2001 after being nominated by the then President Bill Clinton. Her tenure is the second largest after William Wirt in 1928.

• In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but lost in the Democratic primary to Bill McBride. It is only after this debacle that she gave up her political life and started taking interest in other things.

• Reno curated a compilation of old-time American songs performed by contemporary artists called the Song of America and served on the board of directors for the Innocence Project, which is a nonprofit organization assisting prisoners who are exonerated through DNA testing.

• Reno voiced herself for the "Dark Knight Court" episode of The Simpsons in the year 2013.

• She was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease as early as in 1995. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that has impact on the motor system of the body.