Born: October 26, 1947
Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States, Senator, United States Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton the most famous woman in politics
In the course of her life Hillary Rodham Clinton transformed herself into one of the most powerful and famous women of her time, the leader of her party, the senator, the U. S. Secretary of State. By the time of her reelection to the Senate in 2006, she had inspired a never ending national and international dialogue about herself, her politics, her morals, her business skills, her looks and her marriage.
Furthermore, Hillary Clinton has become one of the most talked about, criticized and fascinating national and international celebrities, taking a place among the women like Princess Diana, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy and Oprah.
Hillary Diana Rodham, the first child of Dorothy and Hugh Rodham, was born in October 26, 1947. Later followed her two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony. Hillary’s childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, was happy and very disciplined. Although the business of her father was effected by the Great Depression, Hugh Rodham was a good salesman and gradually became a successful entrepreneur. Hillary’s parents inspired her to study hard and set her objectives high. Her childhood dream was to become an astronaut. At the age of fourteen she wrote to NASA to volunteer. She was rejected, because no women could apply.
Her mother had a great influence on developing of her personality. Dorothy Rodham taught her not to hesitate to speak her mind and pursue her goals. She also taught her children to maintain their emotional equilibrium, even under stress. “Imagine having this carpenter’s level inside you,” she said. “You try to keep that bubble in the center…”
During her school years Hillary was known for her willingness to work hard. While most girls talked about boys and makeup, Hillary was already “political” even at the stage when it was not considered cool. She was involved in almost all school activities: student government, school newspaper… She rewrote the student assembly constitution and, in eleventh grade, became a class vice president. Even in these years she was an impressive debater. One of her favorite heroes at that time was Margaret Chase Smith, a senator from Maine, the first woman to be elected to both houses of Congress. At the time when seventeen-year-old Hillary Rodham left Park Ridge, Illinois, for Wellesley College, her character had been already formed: a combination of intelligence and inquiring mind, ambition and idealism, reliance on financial independence and belief in the public service.
At Wellesley Hillary gradually became a natural leader. Her warmth, humor, ability to appreciate others and get the job done, drew other people to her. One of her friends at Wellesley described Hillary as “a kick: fun-loving, full of mischief, spunky, good-natured… a wonderfully warm and thoughtful friend.” Her ability to be direct in everything she did and said, made her truly a noticeable figure. In February 1968 she was elected by her fellow students to be their president.
There was something generous about her character that made people like being around her. She had an ability to praise and encourage others, to remember important details of their lives. However, there was always a certain mystique about her own personal life, which she always preferred to keep private.
In 1969 Hillary became one of 27 women at Yale among 235 law students. Hillary’s interests often lay beyond the academic issues. They were more in using the legal profession and the law in the service of people. The people she seemed drawn to helping above others were children. Hillary felt that they were the most vulnerable, especially if they were poor and black. Her meeting with Marian Wright, the Yale Law graduate who planned a new organization dedicated to children’s advocacy, and subsequently work for Marian Wright, was a turning point for Hillary’s view about her future career and her mission in life. “My life is too short to spend it making money for some big anonymous firm,” she said at that time. She concentrated in her studies on how the law affected children.
After graduation Hillary worked for the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.
Later she moved to Arkansas to follow her heart, where Bill Clinton had begun his political career. They got married on October, 11, 1975. After marriage to Bill Clinton, she worked at the Rose Law firm in Little Rock. She was twice named by Time magazine as a top 100 lawyer nationally. Hillary adjusted to the life in Arkansas easily. She made good friends and made a good name for herself in the local academic and legal communities. She even mastered Arkansas accent.
In Arkansas, Hillary became accustomed to being criticized – for not taking her husband’s name, for being too tough, for combining her duties as Arkansas’s First Lady with her legal work, public service and family. Hillary commented on this: “The work that I’ve done as a professional, as a public advocate, has been aimed in part to assure that women can make the choices that they should make – whether it’s full-time career, full-time motherhood, some combination, depending on what stage of life they are at – and I think that is still difficult for people to understand right now, that it is a generational change.”
First Lady of the United States
As a nation’s First Lady, Hillary continued to balance public service with private life. In 1993 the President asked her to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. A system of universal health care was one of the most important goals of the President. The idea was to combine government controls and the competitive marketplace, taking the elements of both to restrain the health care costs. Hillary’s experience in children’s advocacy and social policy for families, children and health care, made it natural for her to focus her energy and talents on health care reform.
Not since Jackie Kennedy had any first lady received the kind of attention that Hillary received from the press and public. Americans were fascinated by this attractive, brainy First Lady. Like Eleanor Roosevelt, who was Hillary’s role model, she was determined to make a difference, and to use all her energy for the public good. This was the motivating point for all she and her husband had fought for. And like Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary was much ahead of her time.
The decision to run for the Senate from New York did not come to her easily. She was not from New York, and she never lived there. Hillary gave an answer on this question: “I suppose the question on everybody’s mind is, Why the Senate and why New York and why me? All I can say is I care deeply about the issues that are important in this state, that I’ve already been learning about and hearing about.” Hillary’s closest friends believed that her strongest motivation was to continue the public work she had started during her years in the White House. On November 7, 2000, she won overwhelmingly. She became the first woman elected statewide in New York. Her representation of New Yorkers was impressive. Her committee assignments in the 110th Congress were 1) Armed Services; 2) Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; 3) Environment and Public Works; 4) Security & Cooperation in Europe; 5) Special Committee on Aging.
Hillary was one of the city’s most effective advocates for fund raising after the 9/11 attacks.
67th United States Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2008 election. In January 2009 she became the U. S. Secretary of State in the administration of the President Barack Obama.
People she admired:
Margaret Chase Smith, Saul Alinsky, Eleanor Roosevelt. Hillary seems to admire those who challenged the conventional wisdom.
Hillary Clinton Biography – Bill and Hillary Clinton
Bill Clinton recalls the first time seeing Hillary: “One day, when I was sitting in the back of Professor Emerson’s class, I spotted a woman I hadn’t seen before… She had thick dark blond hair and wore eyeglasses and no makeup, but she conveyed a sense of strength and self-possession I had rarely seen in anyone, man or woman.”
According to Betsey Wright, a friend of Hillary, Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton “both passionately share the sense that they’re supposed to make a difference in this world – and they had that both before they met each other.” Their values, ambitions and passions in life were very similar.She added: “They don’t do anything that isn’t strongly… They are two of the most passionate people I ever met. They love passionately, they argue passionately, they parent passionately, they read passionately, they play passionately.”(Carl Bernstein. A Woman in Charge)