- NAME: Bill Clinton
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President, U.S. Governor
- BIRTH DATE: August 19, 1946 (Age: 66)
- 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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On the same trip, Clinton met another of his political heroes, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee J. William Fulbright. Clinton said, "Fulbright I admired to no end ... He had a real impact on my wanting to be a citizen of the world."
Upon graduating from high school in 1964, Clinton attended Georgetown University to study international affairs. He immediately thrust himself into university politics, serving as the president of his freshman and sophomore classes. However, Clinton lost the election for student body president during his junior year, most likely because his classmates found him "too political." Clinton began devoting his time to working as a clerk for the Foreign Relations Committee under Senator Fulbright, one of Congress's most outspoken critics of the Vietnam War. Clinton came to share Fulbright's view that the war was both immoral and contrary to the United States' best interests.
After graduating from Georgetown in 1968, Clinton won a highly prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study for two years at Oxford University. However, shortly after his arrival in England, Clinton received his draft notice and was forced to return to Arkansas. Clinton avoided military service by enrolling in the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas Law School, but instead of attending law school that fall, he instead returned to Oxford. Apparently feeling guilty about his decision to avoid the draft, Clinton resubmitted his name to the draft board, but he received a high enough lottery number to assure that he would not have to serve in Vietnam.
Upon the completion of his Rhodes Scholarship, Clinton entered Yale Law School, where he met a bright young woman named Hillary Rodham, who shared his political ambitions. The pair graduated from Yale in 1973 and married two years later in 1975. They had their only child, a daughter named Chelsea Clinton, in 1980. After graduating from Yale, the Clintons moved to Arkansas, where Bill began teaching at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Law School and immediately thrust himself into politics. In 1974, he challenged Republican incumbent John Paul Hammerschmidt for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Clinton lost the race, but it was much closer than anyone had expected and the race marked him as a rising political star of the Arkansas Democratic Party. Two years later, Clinton was elected state attorney general, and then in 1978, at the age of 32, he easily defeated Republican Lynn Lowe to become one of the youngest governors in American history.
Working closely with his wife Hillary, Clinton set out on an ambitious agenda to reform the state's education and health care systems. However, hampered by his youth and political inexperience, Clinton made several big blunders as governor. He poorly handled riots by Cuban refugees interned at Fort Chaffee and instituted a highly unpopular fee hike on auto licenses. At the time, Arkansas governors served only two-year terms, and at the conclusion of Clinton's first term in 1980 a little-known Republican challenger named Frank White shockingly knocked him out of office.
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