Bill Clinton

U.S. President

Born: 19 August 1946
Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas
Best known as: 42nd President of the United States, 1993-2001

Name at birth: William Jefferson Blythe

Bill Clinton was president of the United States for two terms, from 1993 to 2001, and is best known as the president who survived impeachment after a sex scandal. Clinton spent the 1970s as a law professor and then Attorney General of Arkansas, and for most of the 1980s he was Governor of Arkansas. A moderate Democrat, in 1992 he defeated the incumbent George Bush for the U.S. presidency. His first term was characterized by a strong economic recovery, and in 1996 he beat Republican Bob Dole and was re-elected. His second term was dominated by scandal: accusations of corruption and investigations into rumors of his marital infidelity. On December 19, 1998 the U.S. House of Representatives voted (along party lines) in favor of two articles of impeachment. Clinton was accused of committing perjury and obstruction of justice in his attempt to cover up an extra-marital affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. In the subsequent senate trial, Clinton was acquitted of the charges and remained in office. Days before leaving office, Clinton struck a deal with the office of the special prosecutor in the case: in order to avoid an indictment, Clinton admitted to making misleading testimony, and he was suspended from practicing law in Arkansas for five years. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected as a U.S. Senator from New York in 2000, the first time a First Lady had ever been elected to public office. She was re-elected in 2006, then accepted the post of Secretary of State under President Barack Obama in 2009.

Extra credit:

Clinton’s father, William Blythe, died in a car accident before Clinton was born; after his mother remarried, the future president took the last name of his stepfather, Roger Clinton… While in office, Clinton was sued by Paula Jones, an Arkansas state employee who claimed Clinton had sexually harassed her in 1991. The lawsuit went on from 1994 to 1998 and was settled when Clinton agreed to pay Jones $850,000… Clinton was succeeded by George W. Bush, the son of the president Clinton defeated in 1992… The younger Bush defeated Clinton’s vice president Al Gore in the 2000 presidential elections… Bill and Hillary Clinton have one daughter, Chelsea, who attended Stanford University while her father was president… During his first presidential campaign Clinton was nicknamed Elvis, a play on his southern roots and populist style… His critics sometimes refer to him derisively as “Bubba,” an epithet that is supposed to bring to mind the image of an obese rube… Clinton’s memoir, “My Life,” was published in 2004. Clinton’s advance from publishers Alfred A. Knopf was reported to be over $10 million… Clinton underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in September of 2004.

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