Bill Clinton

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served from 1993 to 2001 as the 42nd President of the United States. He was 46 years old when he was elected.

He took office at the end of the Cold War. Clinton was the first president from the baby boom generation. Before he was president, Clinton was governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992 and attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the former United States Secretary of State and Senator of New York.

Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe in Hope, Arkansas. His biological father, William Jefferson Blythe died in a car accident, three months before Clinton was born. His mother, Virginia Clinton Kelley was a Nurse anesthetist. He took the last name Clinton because it was his stepfather, Roger Clinton, Sr.’s name. Clinton grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In high school, Clinton played the saxophone. Clinton went to college at Georgetown University. During his college years, Clinton worked under several politicians. He later went to Oxford University and Yale Law School.


In the 1992 presidential election, he beat Republican George H. W. Bush. During the early part of Clinton’s first term, he put in place a tax code which would increase taxes on the rich and decrease taxes on the poor.

The First inauguration of Bill Clinton

The First inauguration of Bill Clinton, January 1993

In 1994, during Clinton’s first term in office, the Congress switched to a Republican majority. However, Clinton still beat Republican Bob Dole in the 1996 election.

The Republicans defeated Clinton’s proposal for the U.S. government to adopt universal health care. The Republicans proposed many new ideas to Congress to limit the size of government such as requiring the budget to be balanced and to stop people from abusing the welfare system. The country faced very few challenges during his term. The Cold War was over and there was very little need for the U.S. military to get involved in the world’s affairs, so defense spending was significantly lowered. The economy was doing very well during his term, though there is a debate whether the economy was well because of Clinton’s policies or because of the Republicans’ policies.

The decade ended with the being the first time the United States did not have to borrow money to pay for its budget. Clinton left office with high approval ratings and was succeeded by George W. Bush.



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