Hillary Diane Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 1947. She has two brothers, Hugh and Anthony. She went to public schools where she participated in swimming, baseball, and other sports. She was also a Brownie and Girl Scout. In high school, Hillary was a member of the National Honor Society. She was president of her senior class at Wellesley College where she majored in political science and was the first student ever asked to deliver its commencement address. Hillary studied law at Yale Law School where she was an editor of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. She graduated with honors. It was at Yale where she met her future husband, Bill Clinton. Hillary worked on cases of child abuse at Yale New Haven Hospital and volunteered at New Haven Legal Services to provide free legal advice for the poor. Rodham was a staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund.
In 1974, Hillary moved to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton in 1975. She worked as an attorney while raising their daughter, Chelsea. She was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law where she taught criminal law. She was the first director of the school’s legal aid clinic. President Jimmy Carter appointed her to serve on the board of the Legal Services Corporation. When her husband was elected as the governor of Arkansas for six terms, Hillary became the state’s First Lady and joined the board of directors of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children’s Defense Fund. She was twice named to the list of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.”
In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States. As First Lady, Hillary was an advocate for health care reform and worked on many issues involving children and families. She traveled to more than 80 countries representing the United States. In Beijing, China, in 1995, she said, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” This helped start a global movement for women’s rights. She started the “Save America’s Treasures” program to save historic items and sites. This included the flag that inspired the Star-Spangled Banner.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton was elected as a United States Senator for New York. Hillary worked to get $21.4 billion in funding for Ground Zero, the site of the 2001 terrorist attack that destroyed the World Trade Center. This was used for cleanup, providing health services for first responders and volunteers, and for redevelopment. She was an advocate for improving benefits for veterans, bringing broadband access to rural communities, and funding for new jobs to repair, renovate, and modernize public schools.
In early 2007, Hillary campaigned for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. She was defeated by Barack Obama. Obama named her as his secretary of state when he won
the presidential election. Hillary would become the third woman to serve as secretary of state. In 2016, Hilary won the Democratic nomination for president, but was defeated in a tight race by Republican Donald Trump in her bid to become the 45th president.
She once said, “ … every one of us every day has choices to make about the kind of person we are and what we wish to become. You can decide to be someone who brings people together, or you can fall prey to those who wish to divide us. You can be someone who educates yourself, or you can believe that being negative is clever and being cynical is fashionable. You have a choice.”
Secretary Clinton is the author of her memoir, Living History, and It Takes A Village. She and President Clinton live in Westchester County, New York.