Bill ClintonWilliam Jefferson Clinton (; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He previously served as governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1983 to 1992, and as attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton became known as a New Democrat, as many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. He is the husband of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 and the Democratic nominee for president in the 2016 presidential election.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University. He received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at University College, Oxford, and he later graduated from Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale; they married in 1975. After graduating from law school, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as state attorney general, followed by two non-consecutive terms as Arkansas governor. As governor, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in the 1992 presidential election, defeating incumbent Republican president George Bush and independent businessman Ross Perot. At 46 years old, Clinton became the third-youngest president of the United States.
Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, however, he was reelected in a landslide. During this time Clinton began an ideological evolution as he became much more conservative in his domestic policy advocating for welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures. He also appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus—the first such surplus since 1969. In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Dayton Peace agreement, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the Oslo I Accord and Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and assisted the Northern Ireland peace process.
Clinton's second term would be dominated by the Monica Lewinsky scandal which began in 1996, when Clinton began a sexual affair with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky. In January 1998, news of the sexual relationship made tabloid headlines. The scandal escalated throughout the year, culminating on December 19 when Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the second U.S. president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson. The two impeachment articles that the house passed were based on Clinton using the powers of the presidency to obstruct the investigation and that Clinton lied under oath. The following year saw the impeachment trial begin in the Senate, but Clinton was acquitted on both charges as the Senate failed to cast 67 votes against him, the conviction threshold.
Clinton left office with the highest end-of-term approval rating of any U.S. president since Franklin Roosevelt. His presidency has been ranked among the upper tier in historical rankings of U.S. presidents. However, his personal conduct and allegations of sexual assault against him have made him the subject of substantial scrutiny. Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Clinton and George W. Bush formed the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. He has remained active in Democratic Party politics, campaigning in his wife's 2008 presidential campaign and 2016 presidential campaign. He endorsed Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Provided by Wikipedia