Bill Clinton defeated President George H.W. Bush during the 1992 election, making him the 42nd president of the United States. His term oversaw the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. However, his presidency wasn’t safe from controversies, and in 1998, Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached. Keep on reading to learn 25 facts about Bill Clinton.
Fact 1: William Jefferson Clinton was born on August 19, 1946.
- He’s an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
Fact 2: Before becoming a president, Clinton served as the Governor of Arkansas for 2 terms.
- He was the 50th Attorney General of Arkansas from 1977- 1979.
Fact 3: He is the husband of former U.S. Senator and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
- They got married in 1975.
Fact 4: Bill Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas.
- He studied in Georgetown University, Oxford, and in Yale Law School, where he met his future wife, Hillary.
Fact 5: He oversaw the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.
- Despite failing to pass the national health care reform, Bill managed to sign into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Fact 6: On December 19, 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives.
- The impeachment was based on accusations that Clinton committed perjury, and obstruction of justice for the purpose of concealing his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House intern.
Fact 7: Despite some scandals, Clinton left the office with the highest ‘end-of-office approval rating’ of any U.S. president since the Second World War.
- After his impeachment proceedings in 1998 and 1999, Clinton’s rating reached its highest point at 73% approval.
Fact 8: Clinton has been actively participating in humanitarian work and public speaking since leaving the office.
- He founded the William J. Clinton Foundation in 1997, to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming.
Fact 9: On June 22, 2004, Clinton published his autobiography entitled “My Life”.
- In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed up with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Fact 10: He successfully secured the release of two American journalists who were held captive in North Korea.
- He visited Pyongyang in 2009 and negotiated with the then North Korean leader, Kim Joing-il, for the release of the 2 Americans.
Fact 11: He is the first baby boomer president.
- Clinton wasn’t alive during the Second World War.
Fact 12: Bill Clinton had a great “Sax” appeal.
- He earned the nickname “The MTV president” after he played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show”.
Fact 13: He was called the “first black president”.
- In 1998, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called Clinton “the first Black president”, saying, “Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas”.
Fact 14: In 1994, Paula Jones filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton.
- Jones claimed that Clinton made inappropriate advances towards her in 1991.
Fact 15: The Clinton family had a cat named “Socks” who stayed with them in the White House.
- However, President Clinton was reportedly allergic.
Fact 16: In 1963 when he was just 16, Clinton got the chance to shake hands with President John F. Kennedy.
- The chance meeting happened just 4 months prior to Kennedy’s assassination.
Fact 17: He won the first chair in the state band’s saxophone section.
- He briefly considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography “My Life”, he said, “Sometime in my sixteenth year, I decided I wanted to be in public life as an elected official.”
Fact 18: As of 2017, Bill Clinton’s net worth is a whopping $80 million according to Celebrity Net Worth.
- He reportedly earns millions from book sales, speeches and consulting fees alone.
Fact 19: The U.S. enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in decades during Clinton’s presidency.
- There was also a surge in median income and a rise in home-ownership rates.
Fact 20: His dad died in a car accident before Bill was born.
- His mother was Virginia Blythe.
Fact 21: He’s a Grammy-winning president.
- In 2004, he won a Grammy for his work on “Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks”. He won another Grammy the following year for a reading of his autobiography “My Life”.
Fact 22: In 1992, Bill Clinton was named Time’s “Man of the Year”.
- Moreover, from a poll conducted of the American people in December 1999, Clinton was among eighteen people included on Gallup’s List of ‘Widely Admired People of the 20th century’.
Fact 23: He grew up in an abusive home.
- Clinton’s stepfather was an alcoholic who was abusive towards his mother/younger brother. At the age of 14, Clinton finally had the courage to stand up against his violent stepfather.
Fact 24: In 1978, Bill Clinton became the youngest governor in the United States.
- He was 32 years old at that time and served one term before he was defeated by the incumbent.
Fact 25: He memorized Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech right after it was given.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.