During the 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton observed, "Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is . . . For me, that balance is family, work, and service."
Hillary Diane Rodham was born on October 26, 1947. Her childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois was happy and disciplined. She loved sports and her church, was a member of the National Honor Society, and a student leader. As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, Hillary mixed academic excellence with school government. Entering Yale Law School in 1969, she served on the Board of Editors of Yale Law Review and Social Action, interned with children's advocate Marian Wright Edelman, and met Bill Clinton. They became inseparable-partners in moot court, political campaigns, and matters of the heart.
After graduation, Hillary advised the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge and joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Completing these responsibilities, she "followed her heart to Arkansas," where Bill had begun a political career. They married in 1975. She joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School in 1975 and the Rose Law Firm in 1976. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, and Bill Clinton became governor of Arkansas. Their daughter, Chelsea, was born in 1980.
Mrs. Clinton was Arkansas's first lady for 12 years, chairing the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, co-founding the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and serving on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children's Defense Fund.
As America's first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to balance public service and private life. Chairing the National Commission on Health Care Reform, she convened hearings around the nation, testified before Congress, and helped craft legislation. She led the fight to pass the Children's Health Insurance Program; worked to increase funding for cancer research and treatment, osteoporosis and juvenile diabetes; and supported the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban.
Although her activities sometimes led to controversy, Mrs. Clinton won many admirers for her commitment to children's and women's issues. Her book It Takes A Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us was a best seller and she received a Grammy for her recording of it. Her weekly column drew attention to issues confronting families. In 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton made history again when, after a 16-month campaign, she was elected to the U.S. Senate by the State of New York.