Gale Ann Norton (born March 11, 1954) served as the 48th United States Secretary of the Interior from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. She was the first woman to hold the position.
Norton was born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in Wichita and Thornton, Colorado, and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Denver in 1975 and earned her Juris Doctor degree with honors from the same university in 1978. She divorced her first husband,Harold Everett Reed, when he was publicly reported as gay by the Denver local gay newspaper, OutFront . She is currently married to John Hughes. In the late 1970s, she was a member of the Libertarian Party and was nearly selected as its national director in 1980. Norton has been associated with a number of groups in the "wise use" or "free-market environmentalist" movement, such as the Property and Environmental Research Center , of which she is a fellow. She also worked as Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and, from 1979 to 1983, as a Senior Attorney for the Mountain States Legal Foundation.
From 1991 to 1999, Norton served as Attorney General of Colorado. Prior to her election as Colorado Attorney General, Norton served in Washington, D.C. as Associate Solicitor of the United States Department of the Interior, overseeing endangered species and public lands legal issues for the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.