Bill Clinton. biography
Born William Jefferson Clinton on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, Bill was destined to be president at the age of 17 when he met and shook hands with President John F. Kennedy at the White House.
Bill's passion for politics continued to grow, leading him to study at Georgetown University and obtaining the renowned, 2-year Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in England.
Once he arrived, however, Bill returned to Arkansas in part of the draft notice he received. But the future-politician outsmarted the system and instead enrolled in the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas Law School. He then decided to return to Oxford before feeling guilty for his actions and reentering the draft. Luckily for him, he acquired a high lottery number and was never drafted.
After his two-year stint at Oxford, Bill enrolled in Yale Law School and met another political enthusiast of the name Hillary Rodham, whom he married two years after graduating from Yale in 1973.
Although he ran against John Paul Hammerschmidt for his U.S. House of Representatives seat and lost, Bill didn’t stop his political dream and was eventually named the attorney general in 1976. Two years later, he became the youngest governor in American history when he bypassed Republican Lynn Lowe at the mere age of 32.
Alongside Hilary, Bill planned to reform the state’s health care and education system, but due to his young age and inexperience, he garnished a lot of negative attention and was eventually kicked out after his first term came to an end in 1980. The minor setback didn’t alter his political path with him returning to the governor position in 1982 and staying there for four consecutives terms as well as Hilary leading the way in education reform.
Ten years later, Bill surpassed his contenders in the Democratic primaries with Al Gore as his vice president in his race for presidency. While many focused on rumors of cheating and draft eluding, Bill centered his campaign around the economical downfall, which ultimately led to him defeating President George H.W. Bush and being elected the 42nd president on November 3, 1992.
While he gained applause for the Family and Medical Leave Act (1993), many disapproved of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy among others. He was able to gain his popularity back after he signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994, and a law increasing minimum wage nationwide in 1996. That same year, Bill beat Bob Dole and landed another term in office.
Bill’s second term was filled with economical achievements, with the lowest unemployment and inflation rates in several decades. His track record as president, however, was forever tarnished stemming from the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal.
On January 26, 1998, Bill denied the cheating allegation during a presidential conference alongside Hilary in which he stated “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
Due to Monica handing over a semen-stained blue dress, Bill finally admitted to having an “improper physical relationship” with the then-22-year-old White House intern in front of a grand jury on August 17 of that same year. He was ultimately impeached for perjury, but later acquitted by the Senate the following year.
Despite the impeachment, Bill continued his passion for politics by establishing the Clinton Climate Initiative for climate change research and the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund as well as others. In addition, he aided in Hilary’s failed presidential bid in 2008 and is currently playing an active role in her 2016 presidential bid.
Did You Know…
- He is the only Democrat to win more than one presidential election since Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- He wrote the bestselling autobiography My Life (2004)
- He was the first president to be a Rhodes Scholar
- He was the third youngest president
- He is allergic to cats, beef, dairy products and dust
- He is only the second U.S. President to be impeached
- He plays the saxophone