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, she pursued her interest in social justice activism and was elected by her peers to be the first-ever student speaker at Wellesley’s commencement ceremony. 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.
After graduation, Clinton went to work for the Children's Defense Fund in Massachusetts and served as a lawyer for the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. She then "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, teaching law and running legal clinics representing disenfranchised people. 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.
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 became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate by the State of New York. In 2008, Clinton ran for president. After a hard-fought campaign, President Barack Obama asked her to serve in his Cabinet as the 67th Secretary of State.
You Might Also Like
Collection Animal Ambassadors
Animals, whether pampered household pets, working livestock, birds, squirrels, or strays, have long been a major part of White House...
Collection The Presidents
Biographies & Portraits
Collection The First Ladies
Biographies & Portraits
Collection Cherry Blossoms
Since the first cherry blossom planting in 1912 by First Lady Helen Herron Taft, Washingtonians have celebrated the scenic beauty and...
Bio Margaret Taylor
After the election of 1848, a riverboat passenger struck up a conversation with President Zachary Taylor, not knowing his identity. The...
Bio Anna Harrison
Anna Harrison was too ill to travel when her husband set out from Ohio in 1841 for his inauguration. It was...
Bio Julia Tyler
Born in 1820, Julia Gardiner by the age of 20 was already famous as the "Rose of Long Island." Descended from prominent...
Bio Claudia Johnson
Christened Claudia Alta Taylor when she was born in near Karnack, Texas, in 1912, she received her nickname as a small...
Bio Hannah Van Buren
Cousins in a close-knit Dutch community, Hannah Hoes and Martin Van Buren grew up together in Kinderhook, New York. They...
Bio Angelica Van Buren
Martin Van Buren never remarried after his wife, Hannah, died on February 5, 1819. He entered the White House in 1837 as a...
Bio Patricia Nixon
Born Thelma Catherine Ryan on March 16, 1912, in Ely, Nevada, "Pat" Nixon acquired her nickname within hours. Her father called her...
Bio Nancy Reagan
"My life really began when I married my husband," says Nancy Reagan, who happily left an acting career for a...