DC’s New Attorney General Has Roots at Wilson

DC's New Attorney General Has Roots at Wilson


On November 4th Karl Racine, a Wilson alumni became DC's first elected attorney general
On November 4th Karl Racine, a Wilson alumni became DC’s first elected attorney general

As a child, Karl Racine, DC’s new Attorney General, played on basketball courts all over the city. Now he will have a role in overseeing a different kind of court. Racine is a former Wilson Tiger. He became the first elected Attorney General, or top lawyer, in DC’s history when he won the November election by a 20 percent margin. But Racine’s success can be traced back to his earlier days.

Karl Racine grew up down the street from Wilson near Nebraska and Connecticut Avenues. He attended Murch and Deal before coming to Wilson. Racine, an avid sports player, could often be found on the Murch playground with his friends. From elementary to high school, Racine would play pickup basketball and football games with his friends from the neighborhood. As my father, a childhood friend of Racine, remembers it, “Every day, for weeks and weeks at a time, we’d be out there playing after school. And Karl was the best.”  

Racine arrived at Wilson in 1977. He says he loved the diversity of Wilson and how it made school such an interesting place. “On the surface everyone was different, but on the inside everyone had the same goals: to expand their horizons, to learn and to have fun,” he said in an interview. “Wilson was a great opportunity to meet kids of all different backgrounds from all over the city.”

“He loved the diversity of Wilson”

By the time he got to high school, Racine was gaining national attention for his basketball talents. The teamwork aspect of the game appealed to him: “You can only win if all five players contribute,” he says.

His senior year, he transferred to St. John’s College High School and was named to the 1981 All-Met First Team. Racine chose to play at the University of Pennsylvania, where he led the team in scoring in 1984, and assists in 1983 and 1985. During his senior year, he was named captain of the Penn team and earned Second-Team all-Ivy League.

Now, 33 years after graduating from high school, Racine is on his way to helping govern the city that raised him. High on his agenda: “direct kids away from juvenile courts.” He is a strong believer that one slip-up should not hold kids back in life. One way Racine plans to go about steering kids away from jail is “reaching out to high school kids so they can mentor younger kids.”