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 Attorney General William Tong

ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM TONG BIOGRAPHY

 

William Tong is the 25th Attorney General to serve Connecticut since the office was established by the state constitution in 1897. He took office on January 9, 2019 and is the first Asian American elected at the state level in Connecticut. General Tong previously practiced for 18 years as a litigator in both state and federal courts, first at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City and then at Finn Dixon & Herling LLP in Stamford. He served for 12 years as a State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly, where he served as House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee as well as the Banking Committee.

As Attorney General, Tong’s top priority is to protect Connecticut families, residents and consumers, and to stand up to powerful forces that threaten us. As the son of immigrants and small business owners, he knows first-hand the constant pressure on Connecticut families, and how we are squeezed by expensive healthcare and prescription drugs, ever rising utility costs, the high cost of housing and education, and many other pressures.

General Tong works every day to safeguard our civil rights and freedoms, fighting hate and racism, protecting the rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community, championing reproductive freedom, and advancing equity across our state. Tong took a leading role in pushing back against the unprecedented federal overreach and attacks on the state’s interests that threatened Connecticut residents in recent years. He also played a pivotal role with other state attorneys general in protecting the integrity of our state and federal elections in the 2020 election.

General Tong has quickly established himself as a national leader among state attorneys general. He serves on the leadership committee of state attorneys general fighting the opioid and addiction crisis on all fronts. Since taking office, Tong has been a leader in the fight to hold opioid manufacturers, distributors, and other bad actors in the addiction industry accountable for their role in the crisis, including Connecticut’s ongoing lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. In early 2021, Tong was a key negotiator in a $573 million settlement with McKinsey & Company, the consulting giant who advised opioid companies on how to promote and profit from their drugs. It was the first multistate settlement to result in substantial payments directly to the states to address and abate the opioid epidemic. 

The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office has become a national leader in antitrust enforcement. General Tong leads the 49 state and territory coalition against the generic drug industry for price fixing and violations of state and federal antitrust laws, which now includes three lawsuits and investigations against what he called “the largest corporate cartel in history.” Tong is also taking on big tech companies and sued Facebook and Google for stifling competition, innovation, and consumer choice.

In the broad area of consumer protection, General Tong also has helped to lead multistate settlements regarding Apple iPhone throttling, Honda airbags, Nationstar mortgages, and data breaches involving Anthem, Home Depot, CafePress and more. Tong is especially involved in defending consumers and ratepayers from high costs of electricity, broadband internet and other public utilities and services, and holding utilities accountable for service failures.

General Tong is focused on protecting our environment, as well as confronting and reversing the effects of climate change. Under his leadership, Connecticut has played a large role in defending the nation’s bedrock environmental laws and has won several legal battles that protected Connecticut’s air quality and maritime economy. In 2020, Tong sued Exxon Mobil under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act for its ongoing campaign of lies and deception that hid how the burning of fossil fuels contributes to climate change.

During his service in the legislature, Tong was the author and driver of several pieces of landmark legislation, leading the state’s efforts against gun violence and domestic violence and in support of criminal justice reforms. He led passage of the Connecticut Second Chance Act, Domestic Violence Restraining Order Act, Lost and Stolen Firearms Act, the Act Protecting Homeowner Rights, and the Act Protecting Schoolchildren.

A Connecticut native, Tong grew up in the Hartford area and attended schools in West Hartford. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, Brown University, and the University of Chicago Law School.

Tong is the oldest of five children and grew up working side-by-side with his immigrant parents in their family’s Chinese restaurant. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Stamford with their three children and way too many pets. Elizabeth is the Vice President of Tax for North America for Diageo Corporation.  In quieter moments, General Tong likes to fly fish (and tie flies), try all the great foods and restaurants across Connecticut and is an amateur carpenter and cook.