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Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

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Also Known As: President Bill Clinton, William Jefferson Clinton Died:
Born: August 19, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Hope, Arkansas, USA Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton was the first baby boomer to inhabit the White House, rising from humble beginnings in Arkansas to become a political superstar. A youthful prodigy, Clinton became governor of Arkansas in 1978 when he was 32 and proved to have leadership qualities well beyond his years. He pulled off a Cinderella story by beating incumbent President George H.W. Bush to win the White House in 1992 by projecting an appealing charisma with left-leaning, sensitive yet sensible politics. Although his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton earned detractors and suffered a major defeat when her attempts at health care reform failed, Clinton himself earned the biggest public opinion black eye when he was impeached for obstructing justice in the case of his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Nevertheless, Clinton proved a gifted president whose tenure was one of the most prosperous and peaceful of all time, with such historical accomplishments as passing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," NAFTA, gun control, and reforms to criminal law and welfare. After leaving office, Clinton built an impressive second act as a philanthropist and charming secret weapon of the...

The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton was the first baby boomer to inhabit the White House, rising from humble beginnings in Arkansas to become a political superstar. A youthful prodigy, Clinton became governor of Arkansas in 1978 when he was 32 and proved to have leadership qualities well beyond his years. He pulled off a Cinderella story by beating incumbent President George H.W. Bush to win the White House in 1992 by projecting an appealing charisma with left-leaning, sensitive yet sensible politics. Although his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton earned detractors and suffered a major defeat when her attempts at health care reform failed, Clinton himself earned the biggest public opinion black eye when he was impeached for obstructing justice in the case of his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Nevertheless, Clinton proved a gifted president whose tenure was one of the most prosperous and peaceful of all time, with such historical accomplishments as passing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," NAFTA, gun control, and reforms to criminal law and welfare. After leaving office, Clinton built an impressive second act as a philanthropist and charming secret weapon of the Democratic Party, supporting both his wife in her 2008 presidential bid as well as the eventual winner of that election, Barack Obama. Although many found him polarizing while in office, Bill Clinton and his legacy were largely vindicated by history and his enormous political and oratorical gifts assured him an important role in America's past, present and future. He re-entered American politics in a highly visible fashion when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to accept the nomination of a major American political party in July 2016.

Born Aug. 19, 1946 in Hope, AR, William Jefferson Blythe III took his stepfather's last name, Clinton, and ascended from an impoverished childhood to become a Rhodes Scholar and graduate from Yale Law School, where he met his future wife, Hillary Rodham. Demonstrating enormous charisma and political ability, Clinton was only 32 when he became governor of Arkansas in 1978, and after losing the 1980 election, returned to that office in 1982, which he held for the following decade. Both Clinton and his wife were considered rising stars in the Democratic Party and he won the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination, making an astounding run from behind to beat incumbent president George H.W. Bush, in great part due to Clinton's youthful appeal and energy, exemplified by a saxophone-playing appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show" (syndicated, 1989-1994). His two terms as president were marked by enormous national prosperity and he pushed through NAFA, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and widespread welfare reform, although he suffered major setbacks when his wife's attempts to overhaul health care crashed and burned. Most notably, Clinton was infamously impeached but later acquitted for his attempts to cover up his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. This scandal only fed the flames begun with numerous sexual harassment allegations brought against Clinton, who impressively managed to outlast the controversies and even change public opinion of him and his "lothario" character.

Known dismissively as "Bubba," "Slick Willie" for his silver-tongued slipperiness as well as "the first Black president" in a controversial statement by author Toni Morrison, Clinton proved a favorite for comedians like Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond to parody on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and countless comics and late-night shows who lampooned his cadence and accent, as well as his well-publicized love of junk food and delivering his talking points with what was soon dubbed "the Clinton thumb." Despite all the cracks taken at him, ¬Clinton was universally recognized for having a brilliant legal mind and he appointed both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although many questioned his personal integrity and character, Clinton was widely recognized as a masterful politician and effective president, and his legend only grew more glowing with the troubles that faced the United States as the world changed, with massive events such as the 9/11 attacks and the recession rendering the relative peace and prosperity of the Clinton years a much fonder memory for many. After leaving office, Clinton enjoyed massive popularity and became a powerful philanthropist and eloquent ally to his wife, who launched her own presidential campaign in 2008, as well as to the candidate who edged her out to win, Barack Obama. Many regarded his knock-it-out-of-the-park speech to the Democratic Convention in 2012 as one of the main reasons President Obama won his second term, with many expressing the wish he was the one on the ticket. Clinton gave an equally impassioned but far more personal speech -- memorably opening with the line "In the spring of 1971, I met a girl" -- when Hillary Clinton was nominated as the first woman to head a major-party ticket during an American election, making Bill Clinton potentially America's first First Gentleman.

By Jonathan Riggs

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Venus & Serena (2013)
3.
4.
5.
 King (2008)
6.
7.
 Swing State (2008)
8.
 Shine a Light (2008)
9.
 Citizen Havel (2008)
10.
 Rwanda Rising (2007)
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