Anthony J. Rackauckas, Jr. '71

District Attorney, Orange County, California

District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas is living proof that the criminal justice system works, especially in a day when it is most criticized for not being very correctional, or results-oriented. Early on, when he was 17 years old, Rackauckas found himself in a very precarious position; smack-dab in the middle of juvenile hall. He had participated in a street brawl between two rival car gangs and he was paying the price for his callousness. “Saw that if I wanted to get better, I had to do better,” recalls Rackauckas, who now aims to curb gang violence. Luckily, he received probation, vowed to turn his life around and lived up to that promise.

With a whole new respect for lawyers, policemen and judges who counseled him, Rackauckas joined the armed forces as paratrooper, then after a bit of a break, he earned his bachelor’s from California State College at Long Beach and his juris doctor from Loyola. After graduation, Rackauckas pursed private practice and worked as both a social worker and in the district attorney’s office before being elected Orange County ’s district attorney in 1998.

Rackauckas is serving his fourth term in office.