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Hillary Clinton – Background of the First Lady

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton.

Early Years

She was born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1946. She is famous in the US due to her own career and the fact that she is married to a former United States President. She was born in Chicago, Illinois shortly after the end of World War II.

She was the firstborn child of parents Hugh and Dorothy. Her father worked his way up to management in a textile company in Park Ridge, Illinois. Her mother stayed home and took care of the family.

They had a moderate income level and were involved in many social events around the area. Her parents instilled motivation, a strong work ethic, and family values in the household. Her father encouraged all of his children to focus on academics.

He wanted them to be able to use their education to have a better career and lifestyle than he was able to provide to them due to his limited education. The children were encouraged to reach for the sky!


From a young age, Hillary was involved with various organizations in her schools. She was an excellent leader and communicator. She could get others to take up her cause for just about anything.

She loved organizing and promoting, both sets of skills would serve her well later on for her political career and support her husband’s political path. At the same time, she was a leader in youth programs through the First Methodist Church. While her family and educators can attest to her stubbornness, there was no doubt she was determined.

She would find a solution for anything that came along. She was able to juggle her academics while being extremely involved in a long list of activities. During her youth, she became associated with the Republican political party.

That was the same association as her parents. In 1964, she was part of the campaign for Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. During this same year, she was the chairman for Young Republicans in her area.


When she enrolled in Wellesley College, her political party affiliation changed over to the Democratic party. Hillary has shared this was based on the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X for their efforts to bring forth change and equality.

She joined the Democratic party and immediately dove into their causes. She was part of the campaign efforts for Democratic party presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. She was a huge supporter of him because of his anti-war stand.

Hillary graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 with honors. She was accepted into Yale Law School. During her time at Yale, she was influenced by Marian Wright Edelman.

She was a highly regarded lawyer and a powerful advocate for children’s rights. Hillary worked closely with her and found a passion for the law in areas that affect families, especially children.

Meeting Bill Clinton

She met her future husband, Bill Clinton, while both attended Yale. Both of them graduated from the school in 1973. They went their separate ways at that time.

In 1974, she was part of the team investigating Watergate. When President Nixon resigned in August of 1974, she moved to Arkansas. She connected with Bill again when she arrived in Arkansas.

She took a job at the University of Arkansas. The couple spent a great deal of time together, discussing the law, politics, and other similar interests. The couple was married on October 11th, 1975.

Family Life

The couple was in the spotlight early on due to her career and his interest in politics. She chose to keep her maiden name and used that for her law practice. She changed it in 1982 due to pressure from those that felt keeping her maiden name gave the message she didn’t fully support her husband.

Bill was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978. He held that position through 1981 and then was elected again from 1983 until 1992. Both Hillary and Bill worked as a unit, often seen together at various events to promote their platforms. Hillary worked hard at her law firm while donating time to various organizations to promote the well-being of children.

Staying Balanced

Juggling all of this with a household and a child was something she did without complaining. She took on the roles and juggled the schedules to make it all work. She had a prestigious career, an important role to be at her husband’s side, and found being a mother very rewarding.

The couple has one child, Chelsea Clinton. She was born in 1980. Arkansas named Hillary Woman of the Year in 1983 and Mother of Year in 1984. She worked diligently in the state of Arkansas, promoting rights for women and children.

She created the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families organization. She was also on the board for the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.

First Lady

Many believe Bill Clinton was elected President due to the efforts of Hillary. She worked hard to campaign for him. She gave speeches, she talked to voters, she answered questions, and she helped keep a positive spin on the campaign.

She served as a chief advisor on the campaign. The couple received rave reviews for their open and detailed interview on 60 Minutes. Clinton had a very important role as First Lady from 1993 through 2001.

She was very active in this role, supporting her husband in various capacities. Many people even joke she was the one behind the scenes making plenty of decisions through him. She got a first-hand look at the inside of political life and decided early on she would one day also run for President!

Her husband, Bill Clinton, became the 42nd President. This isn’t to say it wasn’t a time without divisions about her role. Some felt she had a hidden agenda, and they were worried a First Lady of her caliber had a hidden agenda she would promote through her husband.

Diving Force in the White House

Comments from Bill about the public getting a Two for One with him and his wife in the Presidency didn’t sit well. He often said it was just a joke, but commented the wisdom Hillary could bring to the White House and issues shouldn’t be underestimated.

Others felt she should be a stay-at-home mom, and work on charity work. They didn’t approve of her working as a lawyer, despite all of the extra activities she did take part in to advocate for families and children. To say her plate was full at the time was an understatement!

She dove right in, setting up her own office in the West Wing. She always made time for Presidential obligations and to support her husband. Her daughter has openly praised her mom for being there for her as she grew up. She had her own staff, but plenty of people were worried when President Clinton appointed his wife as the head of a task force for National Health Care.

Hillary Clinton Healthcare
When Hillary Clinton was the First-Lady, she delivered Public Service Announcements about healthcare.

Monica Lewinsky Scandal

Early on in the campaign for the presidency in 1992, there were questions for both Bill and Hillary about infidelity on his part. They stemmed around an alleged 12-year affair with a woman by the name of Gennifer Flowers. Hillary won over everyone as they talked candidly about the infidelity and she told them that they had the option to vote for someone else if they didn’t like Bill and his character, but he should be judged on what he could do for the country.

When he was in office and the Monica Lewinsky scandal came to light, Hillary stood by her husband. He denied sexual relations with Lewinsky but it was later determined he had not been honest with that investigation. The support from females for Hillary started to wane after this scandal because they felt she wasn’t standing up for herself or other women.


While Hillary has always been held in high regard for her abilities, there have been some investigations into financial matters. It can be hard to decipher if they were legal and unethical or illegal. There are various shades of gray with it and plenty of public opinion on the matters.

One such financial scandal occurred while Bill was the President. She invested in a real estate company called Whitewater in the late 70s. There were problems with the investigation from the start. It was rumored Hillary was able to manipulate it and that she was involved in some of the legal investigation – a conflict of interest.

There were also investigations into commodities where she reportedly turned $1,000 into $100,000 in just a few months. With important documents disappearing, it had to have been an insider responsible for the information no longer being available.

The Clinton Foundation has been under scrutiny at various points due to the use of the money from donors. Hillary was accused more than once of giving favors to those that generously donated to the foundation. This was during her role as Secretary of State and deemed a conflict of interest.

As most of her scandals were financially related, it is interesting to see how they affect the net worth of Hillary Clinton

While not a financial scandal, it was reported in 2015 she had used a personal email and server for business relating to her role as Secretary of State. This created problems due to the private nature of such information and overall transparency with government documents. The FBI investigated this extensively. In the end, they announced there would be no charges against her but her actions were beyond careless.

Career as a Lawyer

In 1975 Hillary joined Rose Law Firm, located in Little Rock, Arkansas. She worked hard and proved she could handle a variety of types of cases. She eventually was offered a partnership at this law firm. Twice she was recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in the United States. She was recognized for this in 1988 and 1991.

Career as a Politician

Clinton has had her share of political offices over the years. In 1999, she surprised many when she voiced her plan to run for the U.S. Senate when a seat opened up in New York. She relocated from Washington, D.C in 2000 to a home in Chappaqua, New York.

She won the election and became the first female to hold this office. From 2001 until 2009 she served as a United States Senator. She continued to advocate for family and children’s rights in this role. She supported the initial decision of President Bush to invade Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

However, she didn’t fully support the Iraq War. From 2009 through 2013 she was Secretary of State under the Presidency of Obama. Her goal was to be the Presidential candidate, but she lost in the primary to Obama.

He felt she would be a valuable asset during his leadership. It was an amazing offer considering the aggressive campaigning she had done against him in her desire to win that primary election.

Run for Presidential Candidacy

In 2016, Clinton became the first female nominee by a major political party for President. She was supported by the Democratic party. It was a tough race to get that win due to the following of candidate Bernie Sanders.

She was up against business tycoon, Donald Trump for the presidency. Many believed she would win and become the first female President of the United States! Many were in disbelief when the final counts came in and she lost to Trump.

When asked why she believes she lost, she said that people weren’t ready for a woman to be in that powerful position yet. Experts believe that she has lost the trust of the people due to the various scandals and investigations over the years. They also believe she came across as cold and spiteful in her efforts to smear the name of Trump during the campaign leading up to the election.

Future Plans

She publicly stated she would not run for President in 2020 against President Trump. He lost that election to President Joe Biden. Various polls indicate most Americans aren’t opposed to a female President at some point.

It may very well happen with a female Vice-President in place right now. However, Clinton isn’t widely favored as the female most would like to see in that position. She doesn’t have favorable votes stemming from female voters.

She continues to be an advocate for families and children. She has written several books, including one with her daughter. She is the 11th Chancellor of Queens University Belfast. She and Bill currently reside in Manhattan, New York.

Hillary Clinton Previous Offices:

First Lady of United States 1993-2001
United States Senator, New York 2001-2009
United States Secretary of State 2009-2013

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