Clinton William J. - USA

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This bio was updated in 2010.

William Jefferson Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. As a delegate to Boys Nation while in high school, he met President John Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. The encounter led him to enter a life of public service. Clinton graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and shortly thereafter entered politics in Arkansas.

He was defeated in his campaign for Congress in Arkansas’s Third District in 1974. The next year he married Hillary Rodham, a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School. In 1980, Chelsea, their only child, was born. Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and won the governorship in 1978. After losing a bid for a second term, he regained the office in 1982, and served until his 1992 bid for the Presidency of the United States.

Elected President of the United States in 1992, and again in 1996, President Clinton was the first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. President Clinton’s core values of building community, creating opportunity, and demanding responsibility resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs—more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest homeownership and college enrollment rates in history.

President Clinton’s accomplishments in the White House include increasing investment in education, providing tax relief for working families, helping millions of Americans move from welfare to work, expanding access to technology, encouraging investment in underserved communities, protecting the environment, countering the threat of terrorism and promoting peace and strengthening democracy around the world. His Administration’s economic policies fostered the largest peacetime economic expansion in history. President Clinton previously served as the Governor of Arkansas, chairman of the National Governors’ Association and Attorney General of Arkansas. As former chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, he is one of the original architects and leading advocates of the Third Way movement.

Since 2001, President Clinton has dedicated himself to philanthropy and continued public service through the William J. Clinton Foundation, which is focused on finding practical and measurable solutions to address pressing challenges at home and abroad. In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton joined with former President Bush to help with relief and recovery following the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and to lead a nationwide fundraising effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also served as U.N. Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery from 2005 to 2007.

Related Links

The William J. Clinton Foundation