William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton is both one of the most controversial presidents of all time as well as one of the most popular. Clinton was elected after appearing on television’s nighttime talk show host circuit; his playing the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” portrayed Clinton as inherently human and very cool. Even the rumors of his infidelity could not kill Clinton’s popularity. In fact, many Americans swept it under the proverbial rug.
Although Clinton did bring some dishonor to the office of the President – for which he would be impeached – Clinton remains one of the most popular presidents in recent American history. Even impeachment couldn’t keep him from being re-elected in a landslide against the late Bob Dole.
|Celebrated Name:||Bill Clinton|
|Real Name/Full Name:||William Jefferson Clinton|
|Birthdate:||August 19, 1946|
|Height:||6 ft. 2 in.|
|Wife/Spouse||Hillary Rodham Clinton|
|Children/Kids:||One daughter, Chelsea|
|Is Bill Clinton Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||42nd President of the United States of America|
|Colleges Attended:||Georgetown University (Bachelor’s in Foreign Service); Oxford (B.Phil in Politics); Yale (Juris Doctor)|
|Degrees:||Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service; Juris Doctor|
|Salary:||$200,000 plus $50,000 in business expenses|
|Net Worth in 2022:||$80 million|
Biography: Early Life and Family
William Jefferson (Blythe) Clinton was born on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. His father was William Jefferson Blythe, Jr. who would die in an auto accident when Bill was just three months old. Bill’s mother was Virginia Dell Cassidy; although Bill’s parents were married prior to his birth, Virginia later found out that William Blythe was still legally married to his third wife. This annulled the marriage, but, by this time, Blythe had passed away. Virginia would later marry and become Virginia Kelley.
Soon after Bill was born, Virginia would leave him with her parents, Eldridge and Edith Cassidy. The Cassidy family owned a small store in Hope. Virginia initially went to New Orleans to study nursing. She remained in New Orleans until Bill was four years old. She then returned home and married Roger Clinton, Sr., who would give Bill his family name. However, Roger Sr. would not formally adopt Bill until Bill was fifteen years old.
Bill and his mother moved with Roger to Hot Springs, where he owned a car dealership.
Bill did not have a healthy relationship with his stepfather. Bill has described Roger Sr. as an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler. Bill would claim that Roger Sr. often acted abusively toward Virginia and Bill’s half-brother, Roger Jr. Bill admits that he threatened his stepfather many times with violence in order to protect his mother and brother.
Bill attended St. John’s Catholic Elementary School as well as Ramble Elementary School in Hot Springs. He would attend high school at High Springs High School. During his high school years, Bill was active in student leadership roles as well as in school music productions. Bill claims to also have been an avid reader.
Clinton was an active member of the chorus as well as the band. He played the tenor saxophone, and he would try for and successfully win the first chair in the state band’s woodwinds section.
Clinton saw that his prime interest was debate and politics in a high school Latin class. Bill participated in a mock trial that tried the Roman senator Catiline. Bill argued the defense of the man. He later told his Latin teacher that he intended to take up the study of law eventually.
In 1963, Bill initially decided he wanted to be a public official. He visited the White House as a member of the Boys Nation program. There he met John Kennedy. He also watched Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver the “I Have a Dream” speech that same year.
Bill would receive multiple scholarships so that he could attend Georgetown University. Bill applied to no other school, but he successfully got accepted to the prestigious school.
Clinton was the class president during 1964 and 1965. He clerked at the office of Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright after serving as an intern there. He was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity while at Georgetown, and he was a Phi Beta Kappa member. Georgetown honored Clinton by naming him an honorary member of the Kappa Kappa Psi musical fraternity.
Clinton would study at Oxford University in England. He won a Rhodes scholarship to do so, and he read for a B.Phil in Politics. He received no official degree from Oxford because he left to go study at Yale University.
Clinton would earn a Juris Doctor studying law at Yale. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale, and the two would soon move in together. The pair worked together on the George McGovern presidential campaign in California. However, the couple returned to Connecticut to complete their studies at Yale.
Clinton married Hillary Rodham on October 11, 1975 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Their only child, Chelsea, was born on February 27, 1980.
Bill and Hillary Clinton have three grandchildren.
Age, Height, and Weight
Bill Clinton is 75 years old. He is 6’2″ and 223 lbs.
Bill Clinton has a reported net worth of $80 million. Clinton earned $15 million from his book deals, public speaking engagements, and book signing events. Later, he would be paid between $150,000 and $700,000 per event for public speaking engagements.
The Clintons claim that they left the White House in a great deal of debt due to his hiring attorneys and defending himself among a flurry of sexual assault scandals, including his impeachment trial handled by Ken Starr.
Career Outside of Politics
After his graduation from Yale, Clinton returned to Arkansas where he worked as a law professor at the University of Arkansas. Soon he would run for an office in the state legislature of Arkansas.
He is a noted author, but Clinton penned most of his books after he left the White House.
Clinton would join his friend’s law firm, Wright, Lindsey and Jennings in Little Rock after he lost the gubernatorial election in 1980.
Career in Politics
Clinton would run unsuccessfully for the 3rd district of Arkansas’ House of Representatives seat. He would then run for attorney general of Arkansas in 1976. He was successful in this election, although it should be noted that he had little in the way of competition.
In 1978, Clinton threw his hat in the political ring for governor of Arkansas. He was only 31 at the time, and he was one of the youngest candidates ever for the position. He won over the Republican candidate, who was an Arkansas farmer. Many referred to Clinton as the “Boy Governor.”
He did not win re-election due to many issues during his time as governor. He had proposed an unpopular motor vehicle tax, and some Cuban refugees had escaped from Fort Chaffee the year of the election.
In 1982, Clinton decided to try once more for a shot at Arkansas’ gubernatorial seat. He won and stayed in office for ten years due to a change in the law that allowed Arkansas governors to remain in office for six years (Clinton won again in 1984 and the law was changed in 1986, so he simply remained in the position.)
Clinton was a part of the movement in Arkansas known as the New Democrats. They believed in governing in more of a moderate centrist method; they believed this would succeed at a national level.
Clinton was the chair of the National Governors Association from 1986 to 1987. This helped give Clinton a recognizable name nationally.
Clinton was rumored to run for president in 1988, but he decided to remain in his position as Arkansas’ governor. He would run in 1992, and successfully defeat incumbent George H.W. Bush.
Clinton as a candidate captivated America. He was much younger than George H.W. Bush, and Bush was suffering great criticism for his handling of the Desert Storm conflict. Bill Clinton appeared on late night talk shows on television, with his appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” garnering the most positive attention. Clinton was considered young, hip and good looking. He also offered centrist governing, promising to work with both sides of the political aisle.
Clinton was one of few presidents that was able to actually balance the budget, and even traditional Republicans liked his ability to cut spending.
However, Clinton saw criticism by enacting programs such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which would serve to shut down many small towns when the factories that employed citizens and also had an influence on the economy of said areas left and went to Mexico, where they could pay workers a much smaller wage than in America. Clinton did, however, enact welfare reform that required recipients to work in order to receive benefits.
In 1998, Clinton’s administration offered a budget surplus of $69 billion; in 1999, the surplus was $126 billion. However, the gross national debt also increased during this time.
When Clinton left office, he and Hillary moved to a home in Chappaqua, New York.