On August 19, 1946, William Jefferson Blythe IV was born in the small town of Hope, Arkansas. William never had the opportunity to meet his father who was a traveling salesman. William’s mother was still mourning the loss of her beloved husband who died only three months earlier in a tragic car accident. “As a small child, Bill lived with his mother, Virginia Cassidy Blythe, and her parents in Hope, Arkansas” (Maraniss, 1995). When Bill was a year old, his mother moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to study nursing. While his mother was away, Bill was being raised by his grandparents. Four years later, in hopes of a better life, Virginia remarried to Roger Clinton. Roger turned out to be an alcoholic, which lead him to become violent towards Bill and his mother Virginia. At age 14, young Bill had enough of the abuse. He finally stood up to his stepfather. After gaining the respect of his father figure, Bill decided to take the last name of Clinton.
Clinton’s high school years were just as all teenagers wished for. Clinton was a popular guy with lots of friends and even then he had a drive to be successful in life. Clinton’s passion for playing saxophone led him to consider a life as a professional musician. However, after having the opportunity to meet President John F. Kennedy at the White House Rose Garden during his senior year in high school, Clinton’s previous musician dreams came to a halting stop.
After graduated from High School, he knew that the only way he would accomplish all his goals would be to attend college. Clinton did understand that attending college would be expensive, but he also knew that it would be well worth the expense. Clinton’s hard work in school, combined with his music ability, earned him many academic and music scholarships. With the assistants of those scholarships and loans from the government, Clinton decided to attend Georgetown University located in Washington, D.C. He decided to attend Georgetown University because the school had an excellent Foreign Service program and also because it was located in the nation’s capital.
Clinton earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in International Affairs and worked as an intern in the office of Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. After graduating from Georgetown University, Clinton continued his education by attending Oxford University in England and Yale University. “Clinton won a Rhodes scholarship to the University of Oxford in England, and he spent two years in Oxford’s graduate program” (Tyrrell, 1996). After graduating from Oxford University, Clinton attended Yale University where he studied Law. While there, Clinton kept his concentration in government by campaigning for Senator Candidates in Connecticut. While at Yale, Clinton also met Hillary Rodham, whom he would later marry on October 11, 1975. When Clinton graduated from Yale University in 1973, he returned to Arkansas to teach at the University of Arkansas Law School.