American politician and former presidential candidate Hillary Diane Clinton (her birth surname was Rodham) was born on October 26th, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. During her high school years, she excelled academically and showed interest in politics, running for class president (but eventually losing) and also participating in political campaigns during the 1960s. In 1965, Hillary went on to study political science at Wellesley College, where she was president of Wellesley’s Young Republicans organization and later became president of the Wellesley College Government Association. She graduated in 1969 with a BA in political science.
Following her graduation, Hillary attended Yale Law School, where she received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale in 1973. In 1971, she met and started dating law student Bill Clinton, who she’d marry in 1975. After leaving Yale, Hillary worked as a staff attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund, in Massachusetts, and also served as congressional legal counsel in Washington D.C during the 1974 Watergate scandal. In 1975, she decided to follow Bill Clinton to Arkansas, where he was a law professor and running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After moving to this state, Hillary worked in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
In 1977, Rodham started to work for Rose Law Firm, and specialized in patent infringement and intellectual property laws, eventually becoming full partner in two years later. She also did pro bono work in child advocacy, an issue she had always been passionate about, having participated in organizations and written papers and articles in favor of children’s rights. That same year, Hillary co-founded the nonprofit organization, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, which had a state-level alliance with the Children’s Defense Fund. She was later appointed to the board of directors of Legal Services Corporation by president Jimmy Carter—a position she kept until 1981. In 1978, Bill became the governor of Arkansas and made Hillary the head of the state’s Rural Health Advisory Committee. In 1981, Clinton lost the governor reelection, but returned to office in 1983. He held the governor post for ten consecutive years, until 1992. Hillary took on her husband’s name during the 1982 governor campaign and has kept it ever since.
In 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned for and won the presidential elections as the Democratic Party’s candidate. Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States from 1993 until 2001. As the President’s wife, Hillary was more involved in politics and administration appointments than usual for a First Lady. In this position, she advocated for healthcare reforms, and the Clintons introduced a comprehensive health care plan under their name in 1994, but failed to pass in Congress. Hillary remained a strong advocate for children’s rights and welfare, two of her accomplishments being the Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997) and the Foster Care Independence Act (1999.) During her time at the White House, Hillary published two books: Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets, in 1998, and An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History in 2000.
At the beginning of the 2000s, Hillary became the only First Lady to run for a seat in the Senate, as the state seat for New York became available. She began her tenure in 2000, and sat on five committees throughout her senator career: Committee on Budget, Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Environment and Public Works, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Special Committee on Aging. In 2006, she was re-elected for a second term. Hillary began her presidential aspirations when she ran against Barack Obama in the Democratic Primaries, but didn’t win them. Instead, she served as the U.S. Secretary of State under the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013. In 2016, Clinton made a second attempt to secure the U.S. Presidency and won her party’s nomination. Although she won the popular vote, she lost the general election against Donald Trump in the Electoral College. After the lost election, she published a third memoir, What Happened, in 2017.
Clinton released two more books, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (2019,) which was co-authored with her daughter, and political mystery thriller State of Terror (2021.) Since 2020, Hillary has been serving as Chancellor at Queen’s University Belfast.