Bill Clinton: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

Bill Clinton: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

William Jefferson Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. A Democrat, he served as the governor of Arkansas during two separate terms, first from 1979 to 1981 and later from 1983 to 1992.

Bill Clinton’s presidency was marked by a notable period of economic growth and job expansion, often known as the “Clinton Boom.” Additionally, Clinton pursued healthcare reform, a key initiative during his time in office, although it faced significant opposition and was not ultimately successful.

President William J. Clinton

Here are some more facts about Bill Clinton that may surprise you:

1. He Took The Name “Clinton” At The Age Of 15

Bill Clinton’s biological father was William Jefferson Blythe III, known as W.J., born either on February 27, 1918, or February 21, 1917, according to CNN. 

He had a complex personal history, including three marriage licenses and three divorces, before marrying Virginia Kelley, Bill Clinton’s mother, on September 3, 1943. 

Blythe served in the Army and was stationed in Egypt and Italy during World War II, working as a technician repairing engines and heavy equipment. Tragically, just three months before Bill Clinton was born on August 19, 1946, William Jefferson Blythe III died in a car accident on May 17, 1946.

Blythe’s birth dates were recorded inconsistently in different records, but his impact on Bill Clinton’s life was profound, even though they never met.

 Clinton expressed a lasting desire to know and connect with the father he never had, and his presence loomed in Clinton’s thoughts throughout his life. 

Bill Clinton adopted the name “Clinton” as a sign of support for his mother’s decision when she remarried Roger Clinton and later took the name legally at the age of 15.


2. He Met Hillary at the Yale University Library

Bill and Hillary began their relationship in 1971, within the hallowed halls of Yale University Library. 

According to Bill, he noticed Hillary in class. “She exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic,” he said according to Insider. 


Hillary Rodham felt an “immediate attraction” for Bill, who “looked like a Viking,” to her, according to ABC News

Years later, recounting their journey in her book “Living History,” Hillary would share the significance of Bill in her life. She emphasized the unparalleled understanding and laughter they shared. “Even after all these years,” she mused, “he’s still the most interesting, energizing, and fully alive person I have ever met.” 

Hillary vividly recalled a moment in the library. Bill, standing just outside the door, had caught her gaze. Each encounter seemed to deepen their mutual intrigue. “He was always watching me,” she reminisced. Feeling the magnetic pull, she gathered the courage to bridge the gap. “So I put my books down, I walked out, and I said, ‘You know, if you’re going to keep looking at me, and I’m going to keep looking back, we should know each other. I’m Hillary Rodham.'”

In the picturesque setting of Ennerdale, England, in the year 1973, Bill Clinton mustered the courage to propose to Hillary. Hillary did not accept the first time. 

When they returned home to Arkansas, Bill tried again, and this time, Hillary accepted.

They were married two years later in the living room of their new home in Arkansas with only 15 people in attendance, but they had a big reception in their backyard later.

3. Bill Clinton’s Many Sexual Assault Allegations 

During the 1990s, numerous allegations of sexual misconduct were made against former President Bill Clinton. These allegations ranged from groping to exposing his genitals and even rape. One notable case was brought by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, who claimed that Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, had summoned her to a hotel room in 1991 and made inappropriate advances. 

Juanita Broaddrick: Accused Clinton of raping her in 1978 when he was the attorney general of Arkansas. The alleged incident occurred during a meeting set up in a hotel coffee shop, where Clinton later forcibly assaulted her in her hotel room.

Broaddrick recounted the incident, stating, “He acted like it was an everyday occurrence. He was not the least bit apologetic. It was just unreal.”

Kathleen Willey: Accused Clinton of kissing her, fondling her breasts, and forcing her to touch his crotch during a meeting in the Oval Office in 1993, while she was a volunteer in the White House correspondence office.

Willey described the encounter in 1993, stating, “My mind was racing… What do I do? Scream? Is the Secret Service gonna come in and descend upon me with guns?”

Paula Jones: Alleged that in 1991, while Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, he propositioned her for sex and exposed his genitals to her during a government quality-management conference in Little Rock.

Jones recalled her encounter, stating, “He sat down, pulled down his pants… ‘You’re a smart girl — let’s keep this between ourselves.'”


Jones at the White House Correspondents Dinner, 1998

Leslie Millwee: Accused Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1980 when he was the governor of Arkansas. Millwee, a former television reporter, stated that Clinton groped her on multiple occasions at the TV station where she worked.

Millwee, recalling incidents from 1980, said, “He came up behind me… I froze. I asked him to stop. He laughed.”

Clinton has denied all the allegations, although he paid Jones $850,000 as part of an out-of-court settlement agreement.

4. Bill and The Blue Dress

Bill Clinton had a famous affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky during the mid-1990s. This affair, which unfolded within the corridors of power, is a pivotal and history-defining scandal.

Their clandestine relationship commenced at a colleague’s birthday celebration in the White House, where Lewinsky discreetly revealed the straps of her thong to Clinton, setting off a string of covert encounters within the Oval Office and adjacent spaces. 

Exchanging gifts and intimate moments, several of which later became vital evidence, including a hat pin and a Walt Whitman poetry collection.

There was a yellow tie pin that she gave him that he actually wore during the trial prompting questions about whether he was sending her a message. 

And then there was the semen-stained blue dress. 

Monica_Lewinsky, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Amid mounting scrutiny, Clinton adamantly denied the relationship at a widely covered press conference where he said the famous words, “I’m going to say this again — I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” but the evidence ultimately unveiled the truth.

The aftermath of this revelation had profound personal and political ramifications, significantly impacting Clinton’s presidency and forever altering Lewinsky’s life. Despite the scandal, Clinton managed to retain a degree of public support, while Lewinsky endured intense media scrutiny and personal challenges.

This saga continues to reverberate as a significant and controversial chapter in U.S. political history, provoking discussions on issues of accountability, trust, and the dynamics of power.

5. Life After The Presidency

After his presidency, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton continued to be prominent figures in American politics and public service.

Clinton remained active in politics and established the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2001, focusing on addressing global issues such as HIV/AIDS, economic opportunity, climate change, and more. He also played key roles as a special envoy for relief efforts after the Indian Ocean tsunami and as a UN special envoy to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Clinton campaigned for Democratic candidates, including supporting Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Rachel Emmanuel

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