US lawyer, Democrat senator 2001–09, first lady 1993–2001, and US secretary of state 2009–13. She was elected senator for New York in November 2000 – the first time a first lady had held public office – and was re-elected in 2006. She contested for the Democrat party's nomination for the 2008 presidential election, losing narrowly to Barack Obama. She went on to serve as President Obama's secretary of state, in charge of foreign affairs, throughout Obama's first term (2009–13). She oversaw the US response to the Arab Spring popular movement against authoritarian regimes in 2011 and US military intervention in 2011 against Libya. With the USA facing military spending constraints, she emphasized the use of ‘smart power’, combining military strength with diplomatic influence and reliance on allies. In July 2016, she won the Democrats' presidential nomination, becoming the first woman to be nominated by a major party. She went on to win a higher share of the popular vote in the November 2016 presidential election than her Republican opponent, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who ran a populist, anti-establishment and anti-immigration campaign that included many false accusations and strong personal attacks on her integrity. However, Trump won a majority in the electoral college, which elects the president, as his support was more concentrated in key ‘swing states’.
As first lady (1993–2001) she was at times independent and outspoken, but also supportive of Bill Clinton in the face of challenges such as the ‘Monicagate’ scandal concerning the president's improper relationship with an intern. As senator, she supported the US wars against the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2003 and to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003, but in 2007 voted against the US war surge in Iraq.
While first lady, she was appointed in 1993 by President Clinton to head his task force on the reform of the national health-care system, but her proposal of health insurance for all US citizens was blocked by Congress in 1994.
Her Republican opponents claimed she had culpability, as secretary of state, for security lapses that contributed to the death on 11 September 2012 of four Americans killed in the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by Islamic militants. But official investigations exonerated her of blame.
In March 2015 it was revealed by the US state department that, when secretary of state, she had violated protocols by using her family's private email server for official communications, some of which included classified information. An FBI investigation in 2016 criticized Clinton for being ‘extremely careless’ but recommended to the justice department that no charges were appropriate.
On 28 October 2016 – just 11 days before the presidential election – the FBI informed Congress that it was investigating newly discovered emails. On 6 November 2016, the FBI director reported that, after investigating these new emails, its July 2016 conclusions remained unchanged. However, for the Clinton team, the FBI's actions so late in the campaign were seen as damaging.
Hillary Rodham was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Initially, when at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, she was a Republican, but in the late 1960s converted to the Democratic Party. She met Bill Clinton at Yale law school, from where she graduated in 1973. She was one of the team of lawyers appointed to work on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon in 1974. She married Bill Clinton in 1975 and they moved to Arkansas in 1976, where he served as governor 1979–81 and 1983–92 while she became a successful lawyer, joining the Rose law firm and becoming a partner in 1980. As head of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee from 1983, she succeeded in getting the state to pass a law in 1985 allowing the dismissal of teachers for incompetence.
Her financial dealings were investigated in connection with the Whitewater affair, concerning alleged irregularities in property deals made by the Clintons when in Arkansas (in 2000, the prosecutor concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute).
A long time advocate of children's rights, she published the book It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us (1996), on the role of the community in raising children. She published her autobiography, Living History, in 2003.
Clinton, Hillary Diane Rodham
Clinton, Hillary: Address to the American Medical Association
Clinton, Hillary Rodham
(1947–) The women at Seneca Falls were silenced by someone else. Today, women, we silence ourselves. We have a choice. We have a voice. ...
Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois. After growing up in Park Ridge, Illinois, Rodham Clinton graduated from Wellesley College...
Arkansas Woman of the Year, 1983; Women's International Center Living Legacy award, 1994; Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, for It Takes a Vi