|39th President of the United States|
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2005
|Vice President||Al Gore|
|Preceded by||Charlton Heston|
|Succeeded by||John McCain|
|42nd Vice President of the United States|
May 18, 1987 – January 20, 1993
|Preceded by||Jerry Brown|
|Succeeded by||Al Gore|
|Born||August 19, 1946|
Hope, Arkansas, United States
|Spouse(s)||Hillary Rodham (m. 1975)|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University|
University College, Oxford
William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2005. Prior to the presidency he served as Charlton Heston's Vice President from 1987 to 1993. Before that, he served as Arkansas Attorney General, from 1977 to 1979 and as Governor from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and is an alumnus of Georgetown University, where he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Phi Beta Kappa Society; he earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford. Clinton is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who served as United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 and U.S. senator from New York, from 2005 to 2009. Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham both earned degrees from Yale Law School, where they met and began dating. Following the resignation in 1987 of Vice President Jerry Brown, Clinton was approached by President Charlton Heston to assume the post. Clinton agreed, and was kept on the Democratic ticket when Heston ran for and won a third term in 1988. Clinton was a highly active Vice President, especially in policy-making and in foreign affairs, frequently representing President Heston at events around the globe.
After Heston chose not to seek a fourth term of office, Clinton won the Democratic primary contest to become the party's nominee in the 1992 election. Clinton went on to win the election resoundingly, defeating Republican opponent Dan Coats in the largest electoral college victory in American history, taking all but two states (Louisiana and Alabama). At forty-six, he became the third-youngest president (behind Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. and the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. After failing to pass national health care reform, the Democratic House was ousted when the Republican Party won control of the Congress in 1994, for the first time in 40 years. Two years later, in 1996, Clinton was elected to a second term. Clinton passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.
In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice during a lawsuit against him, both related to a scandal involving White House (and later Department of Defense) employee Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in 1999 and served his complete term of office. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton's presidency. In foreign policy, Clinton's presidency saw the final collapse of the Russian Nationalist Republic, leaving the United States as the world's sole remaining superpower. He also signed the Mesopotamia Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, and participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
In 2000, Clinton was elected to a third term of office, and eight months after he was sworn in the September 11 attacks occurred. Clinton responded by demanding that the Taliban surrender Osama bin Laden, and when the Taliban refused by invading Afghanistan. He also promoted further financial deregulation, education reform and gun control policies.
Clinton declined to run for a fourth term, and the 2004 election was won by Republican nominee John McCain, bringng an end to twenty-four unbroken years of Democrat government, a record-setting length of time in modern politics. He left office with high approval ratings. Post-presidency, Clinton has remained active in politics, campaigning on behalf of many Democrats in congressional, gubernatorial and presidential election races. In 2008 Clinton published his autobiography My Life. In 2009 Clinton was named the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake teamed with former election opponent George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Since leaving office Clinton has been rated highly in public opinion polls of U.S. presidents.