William Jefferson Clinton: the Background and Early Career

William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton is known as a New Democrat, Governor of Arkansas and the 42nd President of the U. S. , who was among the youngest and most reformative presidents in whole the history of our country. He is one the brightest personalities of modern political era: determined and ambitious leader with value-based ideology, a very talented and very controversial public figure. Many who worked closely with him “.. rate him highly as a President and rank him as the greatest political communicator.. ” (Campbell, 2004).

William Jefferson Clinton (Blythe) was born on August 19, 1946, in a small city Hope, Hempstead County, Arkansas. His father, who was a salesman, died in a traffic accident three months before his son was born. When Bill was 4 his mother, Virginia Kelley, sent him to her parents, who were running a small retail store. In the 1950s racial discrimination was a common practice in Arkansas, and one of the most important lessons the future president could learn from his grandparents was condemnation of any type of social or racial inequity.

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Soon his mother remarried, and together with her new husband, Roger Clinton, a co-owner of a small automobile company, they decided to move to New Spring, Arkansas. The Clintons bought a large house outside of the city and started living as a family, but within several years Roger developed severe alcohol dependence. That is why family life was darkened with frequent quarrelling and scandals. During these hard periods of time Bill could learn to be protective and responsible for his mother and a step-brother, Roger Jr.

After finishing Ramble Elementary School, Bill entered Hot Spring High School where he earned the reputation of a motivated, diligent and active student with good leadership skills and talent in music. He was playing saxophone in school and in the State band. When he was 14, he assumed the family surname and became William Clinton. He was an interested and multidimensional person, that’s why it was not easy for him to choose a future career: he considered becoming a musician, a doctor, like his mother, and so forth.

Nevertheless, in due time the fate helped him to make the right choice. In 1963 Bill Clinton was a member of the American Legion Boys Nation delegation and he had an opportunity to meet President John F. Kennedy in the White House. This historical meeting, along with his growing interest in political science and activities of Martin Luther King, had an enormous influence on young Clinton and predetermined his future. He made up his mind to pursue a career in politics and to enter the path of public service.

In 1964 he joined Edmund Walsh College of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he continued his vivid social and political activities. He was a member of several student communities and fraternities, including Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Psi’s National Honorary Band Fraternity, as well as a Masonic organization Youth Order. Besides, he was an active participant of social movements against the violation of civil rights and the Vietnam War, helping to a committee of Arkansas Senator W. Fulbright.

Upon his graduation from Georgetown University and receiving a bachelor degree in International Affairs, Clinton was honored with a Rhodes Scholarship and joined Oxford University as a postgraduate. It was already clear that he is a heaven-born politician, who is determined to achieve the highest heights on this field. In 1970 when he became a law student of Yale University, he worked hard to guarantee his political viability: first as a campaign coordinator for a candidate to the Senate, and then as a coordinator of Presidential campaign of George McGovern. In Yale Bill met his future wife Hillary Rodham (Clinton).