William “Bill” Clinton – Short Biography

In 1946, on August 19, Bill Clinton came to this world as William Jefferson Blythe III in Hope, Arkansas. His father had died three months before in a car accident and while in high school, William “Bill” Jefferson decided to take the name of his beloved stepfather, Roger Clinton who lived in Hot Springs. So from then on, he was named Bill Clinton.

In 1968, Bill graduated from Georgetown University’s Law School in Washington, D.C. and became the proud recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship which allowed him to study law in Oxford, England. In 1973, Bill Clinton received a degree in Law from Yale Univerity in New Haven, Connecticut.

After he graduated, Bill returned to his home state of Arkansas to teach Law at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock before he entered the world of politics. In the 1974 campaign to get elected to Congress, Bill was defeated, but only two years later, in 1976, he got elected Attorney General for the state of Arkansas.

During his law student years at Yale, Bill Clinton had met Hillary Rodham, and in 1975, the couple got married and Chelsea, their daughter and only child, was born a few years later, in 1980.

In 1978, Bill was elected Arkansas Governor but he wasn’t reelected two years later in 1980. In 1982, however, Bill regained the governorship of Arkansas to serve his state in this position until 1993. During the 12 years that Bill Clinton was in office, he earned national (and international) recognition and respect for the progressive programs he promoted. Noteworthy are Bill’s efforts to enhance the quality of the various aspects of public education across America. See also this post about Bill Clinton and His Education Efforts.

In 1992, Bill had to fight a rigorous primary campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Presidency and he continued to defeat George Bush (the Republican President) as well as Ross Perot, an independent candidate, and challenging outsider. When President Bill Clinton was reelected in 1996, he was the first Democratic President since Roosevelt to have won a second Presidential term.

President Clinton failed to reform the U.S. healthcare system as he had wished, but later, he pursued a moderately progressive domestic presidential agenda. He was responsible for reforming the U.S. welfare system, he restricted the sale of handguns in America, he managed to strengthen American environmental regulations, and during his Presidency, the massive U.S. federal fiscal deficit had become a surplus, a truly major achievement…

Also internationally, Bill Clinton left his mark. His administration was responsible for expanding international trade immensely, he intervened in Bosnia militarily and ended “ethnic cleansing” atrocities in that region. Bill Clinton’s administration launched quite a few trade and peace initiatives in the Middle East and Africa and set up a framework towards peace in the troubled area of Northern Ireland.

In 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Clinton as a result of an affair with a White House intern (Monica Lewinsky), but a trial in the American Senate found him not guilty. Bill Clinton had apologized and was excused for his behavior and vowed to continue to work hard to serve the American people. Consequently, President Clinton left the White House while enjoying historically very high approval ratings. He really had done a magnificent job while serving as America’s 42nd President. Bill is also a true admirer of William Gates Senior, the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

In the years following his presidency, Bill Clinton dedicated much of his time to enhancing education and developing global initiatives towards regional prosperity and understanding through his successful Foundation. The many volunteers and staff that are working for the William J. Clinton Foundation (later renamed the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation) are continually focusing on community service programs, easier access to drugs to support HIV treatment, and to fight childhood obesity all across the United States.

Thanks to the Bill Clinton Global Initiative, leaders from across the globe have better access to all sorts of expertise and knowledge to address global issues of education, healthcare, job training, environment, and clean energy, and entrepreneurship to serve those in under-developed regions and countries.

President Clinton has done more besides his Foundation, and he’s not planning to slow down any time soon. He has closely worked together with former Presidents George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush in many disaster relief projects after the South Asia tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina in the southern United States. Remains the question: How Well Do We Know Bill Clinton?