Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Leonard Bragg, Jr. made history in 2023 with the indictment of former President Donald J. Trump for crimes committed in relation to his 2016 Presidential campaign.
Born in the Manhattan borough of New York on October 21, 1973, Bragg grew up in Harlem’s historic landmark section of Strivers’ Row. His parents are Dr. Sadie Chavis Bragg and Alvin Leonard Bragg, Sr., from South Hill, Virginia. He is a civil rights activist and served as assistant superintendent for welfare in New York City’s Human Resources Administration.
Bragg’s education began in 1977 at Trinity School in the Upper West Side. There, he was a three-sport athlete and a student government member. Bragg also wore the costume of the school’s Tiger mascot.
After high school graduation he enrolled at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in government. He then entered Harvard Law School in 1995, earning his J.D. in 1999. While at Harvard Law he was an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights–Civil Liberties Law Review. He also served as President of the Black Students Association. After receiving his law degree Bragg clerked for former U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr. in the Southern District of New York and later was hired as an associate attorney for the Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Jason & Anello law firm.
Bragg was New York state’s chief deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2018, where he headed the Criminal Justice and Social Justice divisions. After that, he became co-director of the Racial Justice Project and served as Visiting Professor at the New York Law School.
In the November, 2021 election, Democrat Bragg won the race for Manhattan District Attorney, becoming the first African American to do so after defeating his Republican challenger, Thomas Kenniff. He was sworn in as the 37th District Attorney in Manhattan in 2022, replacing Cy Vance, Jr.
As Manhattan District Attorney, Bragg established a Special Victims Division that includes the Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Human Trafficking, Child Abuse, and Elder Abuse units. He also increased professional staff, including adding more prosecutors, investigators, analysts, victim services personnel, and community partnership staff revolving around the Hate Crimes Unit.
In 2023, Bragg obtained a grand jury indictment against Donald Trump over a 2016 hush money payment, carving himself a place in history as the man behind the first vote to criminally indict a former president.
Bragg is married to Jamila Marie Ponton Bragg, a Harvard alum and founder of JamRock Productions, a theatre production company committed to works for, about, and by women from Pittsburgh. They are the parents of Maya Bragg and Mark Bragg.