Presidents: Bill Clinton

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Bill Clinton was our 42nd President and only the second president to be impeached. He was also the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be

Bill Clinton

elected to a second term.

William Jefferson “Bill” Blythe III was born on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. He was the son of William Jefferson and Virginia Dell Cassidy Blythe, Jr. His father was a traveling salesman who was born in an automobile accident three months before he was born.

Shortly after his birth, Bill Blythe was left with his maternal grandparents while his mom studied nursing. In 1950, she returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton, Sr.

Bill took his stepfather’s name, but did not legally adopt the Clinton surname until he was fifteen.

At Hot Springs High School he learned to play saxophone, was an avid reader and became an active student leader.

He briefly considered a career in music but ultimately decided he was meant for a life in public service.

Bill Clinton

1963 was a ground breaking year for him. He traveled as a Boys Nation Senator to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy. He also watched Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his I Have a Dream speech on TV, which greatly impressed him.

In 1968, he graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While in school he won two terms as class president, was an intern and clerk to Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, and joined several fraternities.

He then attended Oxford College for a year before returning to the United States. Both while in England and on his return to the U.S. he participated in protests over the Vietnam War.

He then attended and graduated from Yale Law School in 1973. While attending school at Yale, he met Hillary Rodham, a fellow law student.

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham were married on October 11, 1975. They had one child, Chelsea, in 1980.

Upon finishing Yale, Clinton became a law professor at the University of Arkansas. In 1976, he ran for and won the election for Arkansas Attorney General.

Bill Clinton

In 1978, he was elected Governor of Arkansas. He became the youngest governor in the country at 32. Due to his youthful appearance, Clinton was often called the “Boy Governor”. He was re-elected and held the position for ten years.

In 1992, he ran against President George H.W. Bush for the presidency and won the election. Clinton was the first baby boomer president, born after World War II.

He was inaugurated on January 20, 1993. Clinton advocated for a wide variety of legislation and programs, much of which was enacted into law or was implemented by the executive branch. His policies included the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform, Omnibus Crime Bill, Defense of Marriage Act, Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, health care reform plan, Brady Bill mandating background checks and other policies.

The Whitewater controversy broke while he was president, which dealt with political and personal deals the Clinton’s made while he was Governor of Arkansas. No charges were pressed against the Clinton’s.

Bill Clinton

In 1994, the administration launched the first official White House website.
In 1996, he was re-elected for a second term.

In 1997, Hillary Clinton helped pass the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. She also worked hard to pass the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Foster Care Independence Act.

Scandals broke of various affairs Bill Clinton had while in office and at first he adamantly declined these accusations. The House began proceedings to impeach Clinton. He became only the second president, after Andrew Johnson, to have such proceedings brought against him. He was acquitted on the charges.

On January 19, 2001, his law license was suspended for five years after he acknowledged improper conduct.

While president, Clinton sought to weaken Saddam Hussein’s reign, capture Osama Bin Laden, saw the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, and other bombings, foreign policy events and issues with terrorists, much of which seemed to be ignored.

Bill Clinton

In 2001, the Clinton’s left office after two terms.
Bill Clinton continues to be active in public life, giving speeches, fund raising, and founding charitable organizations. In 2004, he released his autobiography, My Life. He has since released several other books.

Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address issues of global importance. After Hurricane Katrina, Clinton joined with fellow former President George H. W. Bush to establish the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Fund in January 2005, and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund in October of that year.

Bill Clinton has advocated for his wife, Hillary Clinton, in her own bids to become president.

In November 2013, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bill Clinton continues to stay active with his foundation and speaking commitments.


42nd President of the United States
(January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001)Nicknames: “Bill”

Born: August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas

Father: William Jefferson Blythe III
Stepfather: Roger Clinton
Mother: Virginia Divine Cassidy Blythe Clinton Kelley
Married: Hillary Rodham (1947- ), on October 11, 1975
Children: Chelsea Victoria Clinton (1980- )

Religion: Baptist
Education: Graduated from Georgetown University (1968); Attended Oxford University (1968-70); Graduated from Yale University Law School (1973)
Occupation: Lawyer, public official
Political Party: Democrat

  • Arkansas Attorney General, 1976-78
  • Governor of Arkansas, 1978-80, 1982-92

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account

    • 1998
      • President Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF). The act provided harsher penalties for copyright infringement on the internet and made it illegal to create or distribute technologies for bypassing controlled access to copyrighted material.


      • President Clinton authorized American troops, but not ground troops, to take part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) air strikes against the Serbian government. Although a United Nations (UN) courts ruled that a “genocide” was not taking place in Yugoslavia at this time, the UN court did conclude that Serbian President Slobodan Milošević’s government had used a “systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments” in suppressing the ethnic Albanians’ revolt in Kosovo. NATO forces suffered virtually no loss of life during this military campaign.


      • On December 19, the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Clinton, one for perjury and the other for obstruction of justice.


    • On February 12, the Senate acquitted President Clinton of both articles of impeachment made against him by the House of Representatives.

  • The first version of the official U.S. government White House website went online on Oct. 21, 1994.
  • On November 16, 2000, President Clinton was the first president to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.


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