Hillary Rodham Clinton

Born:October 26, 1947 (age 76)
Career:U.S. secretary of state, 2009-2013
U.S. Senate, 2001-2009
First lady of the United States, 1993-2001
First lady of Arkansas, 1979-1981 and 1983-1992
State:New York
Education:B.A., Wellesley College
J.D., Yale Law School

Hillary Rodham Clinton was the 2016 Democratic nominee for president of the United States, the first women to be nominated for U.S. president on a major party ticket. She served as United States secretary of state from January 2009 to February 2013, United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, first lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and first lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992. She is the only U.S. first lady to hold elective office and to serve in a cabinet role.

Clinton was born October 26, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated with departmental honors from Wellesley College in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in political science. She caught national attention at her college graduation as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College. She earned her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973, where 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 law school, Clinton served as staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund. In 1974, she joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives during the Watergate impeachment inquiry. In 1975, she married Bill Clinton and accepted a teaching position at the University of Arkansas School of Law. In 1976, she joined the Rose Law Firm and was named their first female partner in 1979. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the board of Legal Services Corporation, and she founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In 1978, she joined the board of the CDF, chairing that board from 1986 to 1989.

During her tenure as Arkansas’s first lady, Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children’s Defense Fund.

As the first lady of the United States, Clinton chaired the Task Force on National Health Care Reform during an unsuccessful campaign to reform the U.S. health system, and then was instrumental in the creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program, the adoption of the Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. In 1995, she led the U.S. delegation to Beijing to attend the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, giving her famous speech in which she declared that “human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate for New York in 2000, the first female senator to represent New York state, and was re-elected in 2006. In 2008, she was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, losing the nomination to Barack Obama. Following the election of Obama and her approval by the Senate, Clinton resigned her Senate seat to assume her duties as secretary of state, serving from 2009 to 2013. In 2016, Clinton became the first female U.S. presidential candidate nominated by a major party, losing the general election to Donald Trump.

For information on Clinton's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation during her time in the U.S. Senate, please visit her profile on https://www.congress.gov.

Collected speeches given as first lady: https://clintonwhitehouse4.archives.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/general-index.html.

Photograph by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


National First Ladies Library. First Lady Biography: Hillary Clinton. Retrieved on January 30, 2020, from https://web.archive.org/web/20060902082333/http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=43.

The Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton. About Hillary. Retrieved on January 30, 2020, from https://www.hillaryclinton.com/about.

The White House. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Retrieved on January 30, 2020, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-ladies/hillary-rodham-clinton.

United State House of Representatives. Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Retrieved on January 30, 2020, from https://history.house.gov/People/detail/11751.


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