Former FBI Director William Sessions dies at 90

The ex-bureau leader was fired by Bill Clinton in 1993.

Updated: June 15, 2020 - 9:22am

William Sessions, the former director of the FBI who became the subject of an ethics controversy and who was subsequently fired by President Bill Clinton, died on Friday at age 90. 

Sessions was director of the bureau from 1987-1993, serving under Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and briefly under Clinton. He was known for modernizing some aspects of the bureau's internal operations and directing FBI resources toward countering violent crime in the U.S. He also committed the bureau to hiring more women and minorities. 

Sessions's time at the head of the department was also marked by his outspoken wife Alice, who publicly criticized officials she believed were allied against her husband. A Justice Department report accused him of having used his office to secure numerous unethical perks, allegations Mrs. Sessions claimed were part of a disinformation campaign against him.

Clinton reportedly offered Sessions the chance to resign from his post; when Sessions refused to do so, Clinton fired him. 

Sessions was also known for promoting anti-drug rhetoric; his slogan "Winners don't use drugs" appeared on many arcade game screens throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  

He died of heart failure at his home in San Antonio. 

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