William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III, on August 19, 1946 Hope, Arkansas, was the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. At 46 he was the third-youngest president. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and was the first baby boomer president. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is currently the United States Secretary of State. Each received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Yale Law School.
His father, William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., was a traveling salesman who died in an automobile accident three months before Bill was born. Following Bill’s birth, in order to study nursing, his mother Virginia Dell Cassidy (1923–1994), traveled to New Orleans, leaving Bill in Hope with grandparents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and operated a small grocery store.
Although he assumed use of his stepfather’s surname, it was not until Billy (as he was known then) turned fourteen that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton says he remembers his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who regularly abused his mother and half-brother Roger Clinton, Jr., to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence in order to protect them.
In 2004, he released his autobiography My Life, and was involved in his wife Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign and subsequently in that of President Barack Obama. In 2009, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Clinton teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Clinton’s sexual relationship with a 22-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky led to the Lewinsky scandal. In a lame duck session after the 1998 elections, the House voted to impeach Clinton, based on allegations Clinton lied about his relationship with Lewinsky in a sworn deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit. This made Clinton only the second U.S. president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson.
As Clinton’s presidency was ending, his wife’s political career was beginning. In 2000 Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate representing New York; she was the first wife of a U.S. president to win elected office. She went on to lose narrowly to Barack Obama the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008, but Obama appointed her secretary of state in his presidential administration. Bill Clinton remained active in political affairs and was a popular speaker on the lecture circuit. In 2001 he founded the William J. Clinton Foundation, a philanthropic organization that addressed various global issues through such programs as the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (established 2002), the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative (2002), the Clinton Global Initiative (2005), and the Clinton Climate Initiative (2006). In 2004 the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum opened in Little Rock.
Clinton married Hillary Rodham, a fellow law student from Yale, on Oct. 11,1975. The couple had a daughter, Chelsea, in 1980.