William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton was born in 1946 in Hope, Arkansas three months after his father died in a traffic accident. His surname at birth was Blythe. His mother remarried and he took his stepfather’s name. Clinton excelled as a student and as a saxophone player and once considered becoming a professional musician. While in high school, he met President John Kennedy and decided to enter politics.
Clinton graduated from Georgetown University and England’s Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and entered politics in Arkansas. In 1975, he married future Secretary of State Hillary Rodham. Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and won the governorship in 1978.He ran for President and defeated George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election.
Clinton and his Vice President Al Gore represented a new, young generation in American political leadership. For the first time in 12 years both the White House and Congress were held by the same party. He passedthe North American Free Trade Agreement. He also implemented the “Don't ask, don't tell” policy aimed atrecruiting soldiers into the military regardless of their sexual orientation.
Clinton was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term. Unemployment was at its lowest rate in modern times, and inflation the lowest in 30 years. Home ownership was the highest in the country's history and crime rates were dropping. Despite almost facing impeachment as a result of personal indiscretions with a young White House intern, his popularity remained very high.