Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 67th United States Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. She previously served as the 42nd First Lady of the United States and a U.S. senator from New York.
After graduating from Yale Law School, she worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door in Massachusetts to collect stories from families with disabled children. She has been a forceful advocate for children and families.
Born in Chicago
While growing up in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary Rodham and her family made frequent trips to the local library. She was an excellent student and earned many Girl Scout merit badges. She also participated in her Methodist church youth group and the local Brownie and Girl Scout Troops.
In 1965, she graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. Afterwards, she attended Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. While at Yale, she became the first director of the law school’s legal aid clinic and worked on a case representing a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.
Graduated from Wellesley College
Hillary Clinton has kept close ties to Wellesley, the all-girls school that helped shape her political worldview. Classmates remember her as a consensus builder and a strong leader in a tumultuous time. Having grown up as a Goldwater Girl, she transformed into a liberal Democrat who believed in social change through government.
During her senior year, she rose through student leadership ranks with a focus on civil rights and social activism. Then she went to Yale Law School, where her concern for children and families grew stronger. She later married Bill Clinton and moved to Arkansas, where they raised their daughter Chelsea.
Graduated from Yale Law School
When Hillary Rodham arrived at Yale Law School in the fall of 1969, the world was a volatile place. Black Panthers were being prosecuted for murder, protesters occupied a Wellesley dining hall and demonstrations against the Vietnam War erupted on college campuses nationwide.
At Yale, Clinton focused on social justice and children’s rights. She helped edit the Yale Review of Law and Social Action, interned at a New Haven legal services office and studied with Marian Wright Edelman, a child advocate. She took on difficult cases involving abused children and learned to combine “book knowledge with human knowledge,” says a former professor.
Married Bill Clinton
Despite her ambivalence about marrying a man who had already been involved in politics at both the state and national level, Hillary agreed to join him in his new career. They married in 1975.
As Bill advanced in his political career, she was increasingly involved in public service herself. She spearheaded efforts to improve the nation’s rural health care system, and she achieved hard-fought reforms in education.
But it was not yet clear whether she would be able to balance her family and professional life. That question would be answered soon enough.
Served as First Lady of the United States
During her tenure as first lady, Hillary Clinton worked on a number of projects that focused on children and families. Her work in these areas earned her praise from many but also harsh criticism from her opponents.
She also became heavily involved in the White House’s budget, and she took part in numerous foreign trips. One trip, however, was controversial: she attended a United Nations conference on women’s issues, which critics called hypocritical.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton ran for the New York Senate seat vacated by Daniel Moynihan. Although she faced accusations that she was a carpetbagger, she defeated Republican Rick Lazio and was re-elected in 2006.
Served as Secretary of State
In January 2009, Clinton became the 67th United States Secretary of State under President Obama. During her tenure, she visited 112 countries and made women’s rights a key part of her foreign policy agenda. She also led the United States response to the Arab Spring and military intervention in Libya.
She has authored several books, including her memoir Living History and It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. She has also been a practicing lawyer, law professor, and activist.
Hillary is still active in politics, running a political action committee that promotes progressive values. She continues to criticize Donald Trump, sometimes earning a rebuke or mocking reply from the White House.
Served as President of the United States
The daughter of Hugh and Dorothy Rodham, Hillary was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. Her parents emphasized hard work and academic excellence, and she developed an early interest in politics. She spent an extra year at Yale to study children, and after graduating she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge and the impeachment inquiry staff during the Watergate investigation.
In 1975, she married Bill Clinton and moved to Arkansas, where she taught at the University of Arkansas Law School. She also ran a legal aid clinic and worked on prison advocacy projects.