John David Ashcroft (born May 9, 1942) is a United States politician who was the 79th United States attorney general. He served during the first term of President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2005. Ashcroft was previously the 50th Governor of Missouri (1985–1993) and a US senator from Missouri (1995–2001).
Ashcroft was born in Chicago, Illinois, to James Robert Ashcroft and Grace P. (née Larsen). His father was a minister, in an Assemblies of God congregation, and served as president of Evangel University from 1958–1974, and jointly as President of Central Bible College from 1958–1963. He later served as president of Valley Forge Christian College. His mother was a housewife whose parents immigrated to the United States from Norway.
Ashcroft went to school in Springfield, Missouri. He attended Yale University, where he was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and St. Elmo Society, graduating in 1964. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1967.