William Jefferson Blythe, III was born in Hope, Arkansas on August 19th, 1946, three months after his father died in an automobile accident. When William was four years old, his mother married Roger Clinton, and the family moved to Hot Springs. William took the family name while in high school. After earning the selection as a delegate to the American Legion Boy's Nation program, Clinton met President John F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C., an event which sparked his interest in politics. Earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University in 1968, Clinton then attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, studying government. He attended Yale University, earned a law degree, and then returned to Arkansas to teach law at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Clinton managed two important political campaigns â€“ that of George S. McGovern, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1972, and then Governor Jimmy Carter's run for the Presidency in 1976. During that time, Clinton married Hillary Rodham on October 11, 1975, and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. In 1976, running unopposed for State Attorney General, Clinton was finally elected to a public office. This followed with the Governorship in 1978 where he served until 1980, and again from 1982 through 1986.
From 1986 through 1987, Clinton served as chairman of the National Governors' Association. In 1991, he decided to run for President. He wanted to improve the health care system and strengthen the economy. After a long primary process, Clinton was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate. Senator Al Gore, of Tennessee was chosen to be the vice-presidential running mate. Their campaign motto was "putting people first." On November 3rd, 1992, Clinton was elected as the forty-second President of the United States by forty-three percent of the popular vote.
Clinton and Gore were re-elected in 1996 due to unprecedented American prosperity. A series of personal battles for Clinton followed, beginning with a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, a former government employee. Clinton was then accused of perjury regarding his alleged involvement with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. On December 19th, 1998, Clinton became the second President in history to be impeached (Andrew Johnson was the first), but was acquitted by the Senate on February 12th, 1999. He agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license and paid a $25,000 fine to the Arkansas Bar Association. Unable to again run for office because of term limits, Clinton left the White House on January 20th, 2001.
Today a private citizen living in New York City, Clinton has published several books: Putting People First: How We Can All Change America (1992), Common Sense Government: Works Better and Costs Less (1995), and Between Hope and History: Meeting America's Challenges for the 21st Century (1996).