As Comey’s career soared, his University of Chicago ties remained strong

James Comey‘s decadeslong career in law enforcement is, by any standard, highly decorated.

He served as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia, as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, as deputy U.S. attorney general, then, as the seventh director of the FBI. Along the way, he also had stints in the private sector.

Through it all, he spanned the political spectrum, receiving appointments from Republican and Democratic presidents alike with near-unanimous Senate confirmations, until hisdismissal by President Donald Trump in May.

None of this, he now says, would have been possible if not for the three years he spent as a student at the University of Chicago Law School.

He arrived in 1982 as a recent graduate from the College of William & Mary carrying a rather eclectic degree a bachelor of science with a double major in chemistry and religion.

That career — and the approach he took to managing it — came with its share of high-profile battles with presidential administrations.

He was at the center of a standoff between the Justice Department and the White House in 2004, when top aides to President George W. Bush tried to persuade an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft to reauthorize a domestic surveillance program, which had been deemed illegal.