- NAME: Bill Clinton
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President, U.S. Governor
- BIRTH DATE: August 19, 1946 (Age: 67)
- EDUCATION: Georgetown University, University of Oxford, Yale University Law School, Hot Springs High School, Arkansas Boys State
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Hope, Arkansas
- AKA: Bill Clinton
- Full Name: William Jefferson Clinton
- AKA: William Clinton
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, and the second to be impeached. He oversaw the country's longest peacetime economic expansion.
A short biography of Bill Clinton's rise to political power, his marriage to Hillary Clinton, his impeachment due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his involvement in recreating the Democratic Party's image.
Bill Clinton talks about MLK's influence on America and how his non-violent principles advanced the Civil Rights Movement.
Listen to the poem Maya Angelou read at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration on January 20, 1993.
Watch a short video about Janet Reno and learn about many struggles that this Florida native faced on her way to becoming the first female U.S. Attorney General.
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Bill Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. In 1975, he married Hillary Rodham. The following year, he was elected attorney general of Arkansas, and in 1978 he won the governorship, becoming the youngest governor the country had seen in 40 years. Clinton was elected president in 1992. Six years later, in 1998, he was impeached by the House of Representatives, but was acquitted by the Senate in 1999.
"I judge my presidency primarily in terms of its impact on people's lives. That is how I kept score: all the millions of people with new jobs, new homes and college aid; the people who left welfare for work; the families helped by the family leave law; the people living in safer neighborhoods—all those people have stories, and they're better ones now."
"America cannot and must not disentangle itself from the world. If we want the world to embody our shared values, then we must assume a shared responsibility."
"Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
"My grandparents had a lot to do with my early commitment to learning," he later recalled. "They taught me to count and read. I was reading little books when I was 3."
"Government is not the problem, and government is not the solution. We, the American people, we are the solution."
"America demands and deserves big things from us, and nothing big ever came from being small."
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman ... Miss Lewinsky."
"Whether I'm a good man is, of course, for God to judge. I know that I am not as good as my strongest supporters believe or as I hope to become, nor as bad as my harshest critics assert."
"I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to life people's spirits, and to bring them together."
"I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact it was wrong."
"It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."
"I'm someone who had a deep emotional attachment to 'Starsky and Hutch.'"
"When you leave the White House you wonder if you'll ever draw a crowd again."
William Jefferson Clinton, better known as Bill Clinton, was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, a small town with a population of about 8,000. His father, William Jefferson Blythe, died in a car crash several months before Clinton was born, leaving him in the care of his mother, Virginia Cassidy Blythe. To provide for her son, Virginia moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to complete two years of nursing school, while Clinton stayed with his grandparents, Eldridge and Edith Cassidy. Clinton's grandparents were strict disciplinarians, who instilled in him the importance of a good education. "My grandparents had a lot to do with my early commitment to learning," Clinton later recalled. "They taught me to count and read. I was reading little books when I was 3."
Clinton's mother returned to Arkansas with a degree in nursing in 1950, and later that year she married an automobile salesman named Roger Clinton. Two years later, the family moved from Hope to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Although neither his parents nor his grandparents were religious, Clinton became a devoted Baptist from a very young age. On Sunday mornings, he woke himself up, put on his best dress clothes and walked half a mile to Park Place Baptist Church to attend services alone. Clinton was especially drawn to the gospel music performed at his church. He began playing the jazz saxophone, and by the time he graduated from high school, many considered him the best saxophonist in the city.
Throughout his childhood, Clinton grew increasingly disturbed by his stepfather's drinking and abusive behavior toward his mother and younger half-brother. At the age of 14, already standing more than 6 feet tall, Clinton finally snapped. He told his stepfather, "If you want them, you'll have to go through me." The abuse stopped, but Roger Clinton's drinking did not, and Clinton's mother divorced him in 1962.
Clinton attended Hot Springs High School, a segregated all-white school, where he was a stellar student and a star member of the jazz band. The principal of Hot Springs High School, Johnnie Mae Mackey, placed a special emphasis on producing students devoted to public service, and she developed a strong bond with the smart and politically inclined Clinton.
In June 1963, as a 17-year-old high school junior, he attended Arkansas Boys State, where he was elected the Arkansas representative to the American Legion's Boys Nation, earning him an invitation to meet President John F. Kennedy at the White House Rose Garden. A photograph of the young Bill Clinton shaking hands with President Kennedy has become an iconic image symbolizing a passing of the baton between generations of modern Democratic leadership.
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