William Jefferson Clinton
42th President of the United States (January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001)
Age at inauguration: 46 years old
- Bubba, common nickname for males in the Southern U.S.
- Slick Willie, often used in the pejorative to refer to his alleged sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky and other prominent female accusers
- The Comeback Kid, coined by press after strong second place showing in 1992 New Hampshire primary, following polling slump
- The First Black President, used by Toni Morrison in reference to the African-American tropes surrounding Clinton's candidacy
- The Big Dog, used by several media outlets in regard to his post-presidential popularity
Vice President: Al Gore
Preceded by: George H. W. Bush
Succeeded by: George W. Bush
Born: William Jefferson Blythe III
August 19, 1946
Hope, Arkansas, U.S.
Married: Hillary Rodham (m. 1975)
Father: William Jefferson Blythe Jr.
Mother: Virginia Cassidy
Religion: Southern Baptist
Education: Georgetown University (BS), University College, Oxford, Yale University (JD)
Political Party: Democrate
Other Government Positions: 40th and 42nd Governor of Arkansas
Presidential Salary: $400,000/year + $50,000 expense account
William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992, and the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979. As Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent Republican opponent George H. W. Bush. At age 46, he became the third-youngest president and the first from the Baby Boomer generation.
Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement, but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term. He passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice following allegations that he committed perjury and obstructed justice to conceal an affair he had with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House intern. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in 1999 and completed his term in office. He is only the second U.S. president to ever be impeached, the first being Andrew Johnson. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969. In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and assisted the Northern Ireland peace process.
Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II, and has continually scored high in the historical rankings of U.S. presidents, consistently placing in the top third. Since leaving office, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming. He has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including the presidential campaigns of his wife and Barack Obama. In 2004, Clinton published his autobiography, My Life. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. In addition, he secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned byNorth Korea, visiting the capital Pyongyang and negotiating their release with Kim Jong-il.
Early life and career
In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, and Hot Springs High School, where he was an active student leader, avid reader, and musician. Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band's saxophone section. He briefly considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography My Life:
Clinton began an interest in law at Hot Springs High, when he took up the challenge to argue the defense of the ancient Roman Senator Catiline in a mock trial in his Latin class. After a vigorous defense that made use of his "budding rhetorical and political skills", he told the Latin teacher Elizabeth Buck that it "made him realize that someday he would study law".
Clinton has identified two influential moments in his life, both occurring in 1963, that contributed to his decision to become a public figure. One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy. The other was watching Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech on TV, which impressed him enough that he later memorized it.
First term (1993–1997)