Bill Clinton (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: A five-term governor of Arkansas who was especially successful in improving education in his state, Clinton was elected the forty-second president of the United States in 1992; in 1996, he became the first Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to win election to two full terms.
William Jefferson Blythe IV was born in the rural town of Hope, Arkansas, on August 19, 1946, three months after the death of his father in an automobile accident. Later, as a teenager, he changed his surname to that of his stepfather, Roger Clinton. He began to be popularly known as Bill Clinton at the start of his political career.
As an infant, Clinton was reared primarily by his grandparents and a nanny. His mother, although devoted to him, frequently had to be away. When he was seven, his family moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he received his elementary and high-school education.
He distinguished himself in both his class work and extracurricular activities, and his outgoing and congenial nature made him popular. He was elected president of his junior class and became a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist; he also played saxophone in his own band. As a senior, he was selected to participate in the Boys’ Nation program in Washington, D.C. At the White House, he met his idol, President John F. Kennedy; for the young Clinton, the encounter was a momentous event that...
(The entire section is 3495 words.)
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