Bill Clinton

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Portrait, William Jefferson ClintonWilliam Jefferson Clinton 42nd President of the United States (January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001) Nicknames: “Bill” Born: August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas

Father: William Jefferson Blythe III Stepfather: Roger Clinton Mother: Virginia Divine Cassidy Blythe Clinton Kelley Married: Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947- ), on October 11, 1975 [Launched her own bids for the Oval Office twice. In 2008 she became the first woman to be nominated for President. However, she narrowly lost the Democratic primary race to Obama, and went on to serve as Secretary of State during his first term in office. During the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton secured the majority of the popular vote as the Democratic candidate, but not enough electoral votes. Previously, she had also served as the US Senator for New York, from 2001 to 2009.] Children: Chelsea Victoria Clinton (1980- ) Religion: Baptist Education: Graduated from Georgetown University (1968); Attended Oxford University (1968-70); Graduated from Yale University Law School (1973) Occupation: Lawyer, public official Political Party: Democrat Other Government Positions:

  • Arkansas Attorney General, 1976-78
  • Governor of Arkansas, 1978-80, 1982-92

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account William Jefferson Clinton III, or Bill Clinton as the world knows him, held the post of the US president through the 1990’s, the immediate post-Cold War era. He nurtured an interest in politics early in his life, which became stronger when he met President Kennedy as a schoolboy in 1963.  After almost a century of conflict, both hot and cold, Clinton’s presidency was a period of peace and accompanying economic expansion. It was the robust state of the economy that boosted him into a second term, in spite of many other upsets in the form of scandals, well publicized investigations into them and controversial legislative proposals (socialized health insurance and the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, for instance). Continuing strong economic performance is also what buoyed his approval ratings among the public, even as he was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice following his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.  President Clinton oversaw the creation of a free trade zone for the US, Canada and Mexico via NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), as well as the passage of several bills on education, women’s issues and law and order. At the same time, the country saw its lowest unemployment rates and largest budget surpluses. In foreign affairs, the Clinton administration was involved in such historic events as the signing of the Oslo Accords and NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia that forced an end to the hostilities in the Kosovo crisis. The US served in a mediating capacity during the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, and Clinton was also the first US president to visit Vietnam since the Vietnam War.

Presidential Election Results:
YearPopular VotesElectoral Votes
1992Bill Clinton44,909,889370
tiny U.S. flagGeorge Bush39,104,545168
H. Ross Perot19,742,267
1996Bill Clinton45,628,667379
Bob Dole37,869,435159
H. Ross Perot7,874,283

Vice President: Albert Gore, Jr. (1993-2001) [Ran as the Democratic candidate for president in the 2000 elections. He lost to tiny U.S. flag George W. Bush following a close and contentious race that resulted in a recount in the state of Florida. He is well known for his environmental activism, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.] Cabinet:

Secretary of State
Warren M. Christopher (1993-97)
Madeleine Albright (1997-2001) [First woman to hold the position]
Secretary of the Treasury
Lloyd M. Bentsen (1993-94)
Robert E. Rubin (1995-99)
Lawrence H. Summers (1999-2001)
Secretary of Defense
Les Aspin, Jr. (1993-94)
William J. Perry (1994-97)
William Cohen (1997-2001)
Attorney General
Janet Reno (1993-2001) [First woman to hold the position, as well as the longest serving US Attorney General]
Secretary of the Interior
Bruce Babbitt (1993-2001)
Secretary of Agriculture
Mike Espy (1993-94)
Dan Glickman (1994-2001)
Secretary of Commerce
Ronald H. Brown (1993-96)
Mickey Kantor (1996-97)
William Daley (1997-2000)
Norman Y. Mineta (2000-01)
Secretary of Labor
Robert B. Reich (1993-97)
Alexis M. Herman (1997-2001)
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Donna E. Shalala (1993-2001)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Henry G. Cisneros (1993-97)
Andrew M. Cuomo (1997-2001)
Secretary of Transportation
Federico F. Peña (1993-97)
Rodney Slater (1997-2001)
Secretary of Energy
Hazel R. O’Leary (1993-97)
Federico F. Peña (1997-98)
Bill Richardson (1998-2001)
Secretary of Education
Richard W. Riley (1993-2001)
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Jesse Brown (1993-97)
Togo D. West, Jr. (1998-2000)
Hershel W. Gober (2000-01)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Associate Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993-2020)
Stephen G. Breyer (1994- )

Notable Events:

  • 1993
    • The OSLO I Accord is signed in Washington.
    • NAFTA is signed, creating the world’s largest free trade zone by eliminating trade barriers between Canada, the US and Mexico.
    • The Battle of Mogadishu (also called Black Hawk Down) takes place.
  • 1994
    • The nineteen year old trade embargo against Vietnam is lifted.
    • GATT is approved.
    • START I is signed by President Clinton and heads of state of countries from the former USSR.
  • 1998
    • The Good Friday Agreement, also called the Belfast Agreement, brings an end to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
    • President Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The act provided harsher penalties for copyright infringement on the internet and made it illegal to create or distribute technologies for bypassing controlled access to copyrighted material.
  • 1999
  • 2000
    • President Clinton holds peace talks between Israel’s Ehud Barak and PLO leader Yasser Arafat at Camp David. They ended without the two parties reaching an agreement.
  • 1998-99
    • On December 19, the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Clinton, one for perjury and the other for obstruction of justice.
    • On February 12, the Senate acquitted President Clinton of both articles of impeachment made against him by the House of Representatives.

Internet Biographies:

William J. Clinton — from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Bill Clinton — from American Presidents: Life Portraits — C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Bill Clinton — from U.S. Presidents
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

Historical Documents:

First Inaugural Address (1993)
Second Inaugural Address (1997)

Media Resources:

From his 1999 State of the Union address: “…the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history.” (0:40)
MP3 (318K)
From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Project’s Presidential Audio/Video Archive for William J. Clinton

Other Internet Resources:

Clinton Presidential Center
Information about Clinton’s legacy, foundation and library.
Impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton – The University of Michigan Documents Center
A collection of links to online documents and other resources regarding President Clinton’s impeachment.

Points of Interest:

  • The first version of the official U.S. government White House website went online on Oct. 21, 1994.
  • On November 16, 2000, President Clinton was the first president to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.
  • Bill Clinton was the president in 1993, when the February 26th bombing took place at the World Trade Center. It was the first of the many threats made against the US during the Clinton presidency.
  • When Clinton was elected the governor of Arkansas in 1978 at the age of 32, he was the youngest governor in the country at that time.
  • Clinton was the seventh left-handed president of the United States.


  • Who was the US president from 1993-2001?

Bill Clinton was the US president from 1993-2001.

  • Why was Bill Clinton impeached?

Bill Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, after he lied about being involved in a sexual relationship with 24 year old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, and induced her to lie about it under oath too.  The affair came to light during the course of an investigation by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr into real estate investments by the Clintons and other associates in Whitewater, a housing development corporation in Arkansas.

  • How old was Bill Clinton when he became president?

Bill Clinton was 46 years old when became president. He was the third youngest president to take office.

Related Resources:

Previous President: tiny U.S. flagGeorge Herbert Walker Bush | Next President: tiny U.S. flagGeorge Walker Bush

©1996-2008. Robert S. Summers. All rights reserved.

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