Biographies >>US Presidents
President Bill Clinton
William Jefferson Clinton
was the 42nd President of the United States.
Served as President: 1993-2001
Vice President: Al Gore
Age at inauguration: 46
Born: August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas
Married: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Nickname: Bill, Comeback Kid
What is Bill Clinton most known for?
Bill Clinton is known for being president during one of the longest periods of peace and economic expansion in American history. He is also known for being governor of Arkansas and for being impeached while president.
Bill was born in Hope, Arkansas. His birth name was William Jefferson Blythe. His father died in a car accident before he was born. When his mother remarried, her new husband adopted Bill and changed his last name to Clinton.
As a boy, Bill liked to do crossword puzzles, sing, and play music. He excelled in school and joined the Boy Scouts. When it was time to go to college, Bill first went to Georgetown University and then spent a year in England attending Oxford. Next, he went to Yale University to earn his law degree. He met his wife, Hillary Rodham, at Yale.
Before He Became President
After graduating from Yale, Clinton headed home to Arkansas to teach law at the University of Arkansas. He also wanted to work in politics and entered the election for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. He lost that election, but two years later won the election for Arkansas Attorney General.
In 1978, Clinton ran for Governor of Arkansas and won. After serving for one term he lost the next election. Bill didn't give up, however, and ran again two years later. He was reelected and this time stayed in office until 1992, when he was elected president. He earned his name the "Comeback Kid" for coming back and being elected governor for the second time.
Bill Clinton's Presidency
When Clinton ran for president, many thought that he had no chance to beat current president George H.W. Bush. However, a third independent candidate ran as well, businessman Ross Perot. This opened the door for Clinton, whose moderate stances on the issues managed to win a number of votes from undecided voters.
Early on in his presidency the Democratic majority in congress was defeated and the Republicans won control of both houses. Clinton worked together with his rival Republicans and soon the economy was doing well. It did so well that the federal budget was balanced for the first time in years.
In 1998, allegations were brought that Clinton had lied in court to cover up something he didn't want people to know about. Lying in court is a very serious offense called perjury. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton, which would cause him to no longer be president. However, the Senate didn't agree and he was allowed to stay in office.
Clinton has kept busy since leaving office writing books and giving speeches. He also worked with Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush in relief efforts for victims of major natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, and the earthquake in Haiti. In 2008 he worked with his wife Hillary in her bid to become president.
Fun Facts about Bill Clinton
- He was the first two term president from the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Clinton was only 32 years old when he was elected governor of Arkansas.
- He was the first U.S. President born after the end of World War II.
- Clinton and Andrew Johnson are the only presidents to be impeached by Congress.
- He had the nickname Bubba when he was a child.
- He enjoys playing the saxophone and was a member of a band called "Three Blind Mice" in high school.
- When he was a teenager he got to meet and shake hands with President John F. Kennedy.
- His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been a U.S. Senator from New York and U.S. Secretary of State.
Biographies >>US Presidents