At a Glance
- Career History: 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001); Governor of Arkansas (1979-1981, 1983-1992); Arkansas Attorney General (1977-1979)
- Birthday: Aug. 19, 1946
- Hometown: Hope, Ark.
- Alma Mater: Georgetown University, bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa,1968; Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar, (1968-1970); Yale University, law degree, 1973.
- Spouse: Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Religion: Southern Baptist
- Office: Correspondence Director Office of the Honorable William J. Clinton 55 West 125th Street New York, New York 10027
- Web site
Path to Power
William Jefferson Blythe III was born in Hope, Ark., three months after his father died in a traffic accident, but in high school adopted the name of his mother's second husband, Roger Clinton,an alcoholic who abused the family and who Clinton once had to stop from beating his mother.
He married Hillary Rodham, whom he met at law school, in 1975.
Clinton was often criticized as too conservativeand too willing to compromise by those in his own party.But his centrist views, voracious appetite for policy minutiae and outsized ambition to accomplish great things created a perpetual flood of legislation targeting virtually anything from school uniformsto universal health care.
His 1993 push for government-led health care failed, but Clinton did remake the welfare system,balanced the federal budget and turned annual deficits into a massive surplus.He passed the largest crime bill in U.S. history, the Family and Medical Leave Actand the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton's wife and one of his closest advisers, went on become a senator from New York and then secretary of state in the Obama administration.
Al Gore, Clinton's vice president, won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election but lost the electoral vote to President George W. Bush. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the environment.