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Who is Hillary Clinton?

Dana Hinders
Updated May 23, 2024
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Hillary Clinton, wife of former president Bill Clinton, has become one of the most prominent women in American politics. Hillary Rodham was born on 26 October 1947. She was raised in Illinois as the only daughter of middle class, politically conservative Methodist parents. She was an excellent student who attended Wellesley College and Yale Law School before beginning her career as a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund.

On 11 October 1975, Hillary Rodham married fellow Yale alumnus Bill Clinton. He was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978 and Hillary Clinton became the first woman named as full partner in the prominent Rose Law Firm in 1979. The couple’s only daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was born on 27 February 1980.

In 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President of the United States, he joked to voters that the Clinton administration offered “two for the price of one.” Never one to sit on the sidelines, Hillary Clinton spent her time as First Lady working to increase funding for breast cancer research, reduce teen pregnancy rates, help children in foster care find permanent homes, and promote better access to affordable health care.

In 1995, Hillary Clinton published It Takes a Village . Her book about helping children become successful adults immediately became an international bestseller and all proceeds were donated to various children’s charities around the United States. She received the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 1997 for her recording of the book.

In 1998, the Monica Lewinsky scandal drew unprecedented attention to the Clinton’s marriage. Some people praised Hillary Clinton for standing by her man, but others thought she was enabling his bad behavior by not demanding a divorce. Regardless, she continues to refer to her husband as her best friend and the most interesting person she has ever met.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton became the first female senator to represent the state of New York and the first former First Lady elected to public office. She tried to keep a low profile at first, but quickly became known as an advocate for education, health care, and women’s rights. Her approval ratings soared and she was easily elected to a second term in 2006. Bill Clinton actively assisted her with both campaigns and is considered by many to be her closest political advisor.

In January 2007, Hillary Clinton announced that she would be seeking the democratic presidential domination for the 2008 election. Because of her husband’s presidency and her popularity as a New York Senator, Hillary Clinton has achieved a high level of name recognition among voters. While she has enjoys a wide base of supporters, Hillary Clinton remains a polarizing character in politics.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the PublicPeople team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.
Discussion Comments
By NLawrence — On Aug 12, 2009

Ms. Clinton's information needs updating. She has been Secretary of State for several months.

By ostrich — On Apr 17, 2008

I write this as Hillary Clinton is preparing for the Pennsylvania primaries, which she has to win to stay in the race... but it looks like even if she doesn't win, she's going to hang on, and I think it is very selfish of her. The McCain people have had months to start campaigning for president, not just for the nomination, and here the Democratic party is still arguing and still looking disunited. If there has ever been a time that the Democrats should just win effortlessly, it is now, with the horrible last 8 years and with a candidate who is quite frankly really old. But, typically, the Democrats are imploding and Clinton is not helping. Obviously the majority of the voters want Obama, even though he came into this without the name recognition or the connections that Clinton had, so why are we still waiting for the superdelegates to decide. And what a ridiculous idea anyway, the one of superdelegates!

By someferge — On Mar 29, 2008

I think this article contains subjective views about Clinton's importance in US politics. It suggest that, during her time as first-lady, she single-handedly pursued, albeit unsuccessfully, policy initiatives much in the same way actual appointees did. Furthermore, the article does not accurately summarize the notorious scandals that she was associated with during her time at the White House, the Lewinsky scandal being only one of the many problems that she faced during the 90's.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
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