William Jefferson Clinton

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by butterflyflyaway
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Politicians and Presidents
Grade:
8

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William Jefferson Clinton

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.

President's Early Life

Click here to see fun facts about William Jefferson Clinton.

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. They 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. 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. 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."

Famous Quote

"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."

The Presidency

William Jefferson Clinton

Who is...

Fun Facts

Mini Biography

Post-Presidency

In 1992, Bill Clinton easily defeated his competitors in the Democratic primaries to become the party's nominee for the presidency, choosing Tennessee Senator Al Gore as his vice presidential running mate. The Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush was vulnerable in the election of 1992 because he had broken his celebrated campaign promise not to raise taxes and, especially, because the national economy was mired in recession. Although Clinton's campaign was troubled by accusations of draft dodging and rumors of marital infidelity, he campaigned effectively by harping on economic issues. His political strategist James Carville posted a sign at Clinton campaign headquarters that pithily captured his message: "It's the economy, stupid." Clinton was also aided by the surprisingly successful third-party campaign of billionaire Ross Perot, who siphoned off a significant portion of the Republican vote from President George H.W. Bush. On November 3, 1992, Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States. Clinton's first years in office were largely unsuccessful. Clinton's greatest accomplishment as president was leading the nation to a period of strong economic prosperity. While Clinton was in office, the nation enjoyed the lowest unemployment rates in recent times, the lowest inflation rate in decades, the highest homeownership rates in its history, and improving economic equality.

In the years since his presidency concluded in 2001, Bill Clinton has remained active on the global stage. Through the William J. Clinton Foundation (which he founded in 1997), Clinton created the Clinton Climate Initiative, dedicated to fostering research to combat climate change; the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual meeting of world leaders to discuss global issues; and the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund, dedicated to rebuilding Haiti in the aftermath of its devastating 2010 earthquake. According to Clinton, the foundation's mission is "to alleviate poverty, improve global health, strengthen economies and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations and private citizens.'' Bill Clinton's presidency is still too recent to be judged by disinterested academic historians. Assessments of his successes and failures still necessarily reflect the sharp political divides of the moment, and history has yet to reveal the full consequences of many of his policies. Nevertheless, Clinton himself offered his own preliminary evaluation of his presidency in his memoirs. He wrote, "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."


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