U.S. President Bill Clinton was born "William Jefferson Blythe IV" on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, three months after the death of his father, a travelling salesman, in a traffic accident. His mother remarried when he was four years old, to a man named Roger Clinton, and several years later, when he was in high school, Bill decided to take his stepfather's name.
As a young man, Bill Clinton excelled as a saxophone player and even considered becoming a professional musician before turning his attentions to politics. During the 1992 Presidential campaign, he made a now-famous appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in which he played "Heartbreak Hotel" on his saxophone. At the time, Clinton was trailing in the polls, and some critics have suggested that this surprise appearance helped turn the race around.
In 1978, at the age of 32, Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, making him not only the youngest state governor in the United States at that time, but the youngest state governor elected in the U.S. since 1938! He would go on to serve five terms as governor of Arkansas before eventually turning his sights on the Presidency.
Bill Clinton's running mate during the 1992 presidential campaign was Tennessee Senator Al Gore. Together, Clinton/Gore defeated incumbent Republican President George Bush (as well as third-party candidate Ross Perot) and secured the white house for the Democrats for the first time in twelve years.
On October 11, 1975, Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham, a fellow law student at Yale. Clinton has often recalled how they met in the school library when she marched up to him and said, "If you're going to keep staring at me, I might as well introduce myself." Hillary was equally assertive as First Lady -- sometimes to the point of controversy. She set a new standard for political participation by the President's spouse, taking on much more than token projects. In 1993, President Clinton asked her to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. Although the President's health care reform plan was eventually blocked by his opponents, Hillary took the opportunity to prove that she could be a formidable political presence. On November 7, 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the first First Lady ever elected to the United States Senate.
In 1998, Bill Clinton was accused of having an intimate relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Although he initially denied the allegations, Clinton eventually admitted that he had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. As a result of his early denials, in which he misled people as to the nature of the relationship, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was subsequently tried in the Senate and acquitted on both counts. President Clinton apologized to the nation for his improper behavior and, in spite of the scandal, continued to have unprecedented popular approval ratings for the duration of his presidency.