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Who is Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton is a trailblazing figure in American politics, having served as First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and the first female presidential nominee of a major party. Her career spans decades of public service, marked by advocacy for women and families. What impact has her journey had on the political landscape? Join us as we explore her enduring legacy.
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

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.

Hillary Clinton was the first female senator to represent New York.
Hillary Clinton was the first female senator to represent New York.

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.

Hillary Clinton attended Yale Law School.
Hillary Clinton attended Yale Law School.

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.

Hillary Clinton is married to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Hillary Clinton is married to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Hillary Clinton and what is she known for?

Hillary Clinton is a prominent American political figure, best known for serving as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 during her husband Bill Clinton's presidency. She was also a U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama, and the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Her extensive career in public service and her advocacy for healthcare reform and women's rights have made her a significant figure in American politics.

What were Hillary Clinton's major accomplishments as Secretary of State?

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was instrumental in the "pivot to Asia" strategy, aiming to strengthen U.S. alliances in the Asia-Pacific region. She advocated for the rights of women and LGBTQ individuals globally, and played a key role in the response to the Arab Spring, including the military intervention in Libya. Clinton also helped to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in 2012 and was involved in the discussions that led to the Iran nuclear deal framework in 2015.

What impact did Hillary Clinton have on women's rights?

Hillary Clinton has been a lifelong advocate for women's rights. As First Lady, she famously declared "women's rights are human rights" at the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Throughout her career, she has worked to improve healthcare and education for women and girls, fought for gender equality, and supported various legislative initiatives to prevent violence against women. Her impact on women's rights has been felt both domestically and internationally.

How did Hillary Clinton influence healthcare reform in the United States?

During her tenure as First Lady, Hillary Clinton led the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, an initiative aimed at revamping the American healthcare system. Although the comprehensive plan, known as the Clinton health care plan, was unsuccessful, it set the stage for future reforms. Later, as a Senator, she worked to strengthen the Children's Health Insurance Program and supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which significantly expanded healthcare coverage.

What role did Hillary Clinton play in the 2016 U.S. presidential election?

Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party's nominee in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, becoming the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. She ran on a platform that included progressive policies on healthcare, education, and economic opportunity. Despite winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, she lost the Electoral College to Republican nominee Donald Trump, in one of the most contentious and surprising elections in American history.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the PublicPeople team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

Learn more...
Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the PublicPeople team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

NLawrence

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

ostrich

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!

someferge

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.

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    • Hillary Clinton was the first female senator to represent New York.
      By: Mihai Simonia
      Hillary Clinton was the first female senator to represent New York.
    • Hillary Clinton attended Yale Law School.
      By: Natalia Bratslavsky
      Hillary Clinton attended Yale Law School.
    • Hillary Clinton is married to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
      Hillary Clinton is married to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.