- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame
William Clinton
William Jefferson Clinton
42nd President of the United States
1946 - present

Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States, serving for two terms, from 1993 to 2001. Clinton earlier served five terms as the Governor of Arkansas. He was the third-youngest president, after Theodore Roosevelt (the youngest) and John F. Kennedy (the youngest elected). He was the first baby boomer president and the first Democratic president to be re-elected since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. During his two terms, Clinton supported legislation to end racial profiling and to improve business opportunities for women and minorities; he also supported Affirmative Action. Clinton won major victories with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect Jan. 1, 1994, and the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which led to the establishment in 1995 of the World Trade Organization (WTO). With President Clinton's support, Congress also approved a deficit reduction bill, rules allowing abortion counseling in federally funded clinics, a waiting period for handgun purchases (the Brady Bill), and a national service program.

William Jefferson Blythe III was named after his father, William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., a traveling salesman killed in an auto accident three months before his son was born. His mother, Virginia (1923-1994), remarried in 1950 to Roger Clinton; young Bill took his stepfather's last name. Roger Clinton was co-owner of an automobile dealership. Bill Clinton earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S.) degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (1968). He also won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, (University College) in England. After attending Oxford, Clinton obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Yale Law School in 1973. While at Yale, he met Hillary Rodham; the couple married in 1975. Clinton became a University of Arkansas law professor in 1974; two years later he was elected Attorney General of Arkansas. In 1978, at the age of 32, he was elected governor of Arkansas for the first time.

Former President Clinton is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Louis E. Martin Great American Award (2006) for his commitment to civil rights throughout his political career.