Born on Aug. 19, 1946, in Hope, Ark., William (Bill) Jefferson Blythe IV grew up in a troubled home. His father had died in an automobile accident three months before his sons birth, and his mother later was forced to leave her two-year-old son with his grandparents when she moved to New Orleans to pursue her nursing studies. The family settled in Hot Springs, Ark., after his mother married Roger Clinton, whose surname Bill later adopted. As a young man, Bill was determined to succeed and frequently earned academic honors, including selection as a delegate to the American Legion Boys Nation program in Washington, D.C., where the 16-year-old Clinton met Pres. John F. Kennedy and determined to embark on a political career.
Attending Georgetown University to study international affairs, Clinton served as an intern for Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas before receiving his B.S. degree in 1968. After winning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University, Clinton returned to the United States to enroll at Yale Law School. In 1972 he helped to manage presidential candidate George McGoverns Texas campaign. After graduating from law school in 1973, Clinton returned to Arkansas to teach and to plan his political career.
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