Bill Clinton (1946– ) was the forty-second president of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas. He attended Georgetown University and earned a law degree from Yale, where he met his wife, Hillary Rodham. In 1978 he was elected governor of Arkansas after serving as the state’s attorney general. He was governor until 1981 and then again from 1983 to 1992. In 1992, Clinton was chosen as the Democratic nominee for president. With Al Gore as his running mate, Clinton defeated incumbent Republican George H. W. Bush.

Clinton’s first term saw the failure of health care reform and the Whitewater investigation. He also faced scrutiny over “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy he proposed as a compromise toward ending discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military. However, successes such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and great economic expansion made Clinton a popular leader. He was re-elected in 1996. Clinton’s second term was marred by his 1998 impeachment in the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice related to his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in 1999, however, and he continued to hold high public approval ratings throughout the rest of his presidency. After leaving office, Clinton remained in the public eye both because of his philanthropic endeavors and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political career as a US senator, presidential hopeful, and US scretary of state.

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