Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary was raised in a middle-class family in the middle of America. From that classic suburban childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary went on to become one of America's foremost advocates for children and families; an attorney twice voted one of the most influential in America; a First Lady of Arkansas who helped transform the schools; a bestselling author; and a First Lady for America who helped transform that role, becoming a champion for health care and families at home and a champion of women's rights and human rights around the world.
The First Lady at a victory celebration as U.S. Senator-elect for the State of New York.
Hillary was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 1947. She is the daughter of Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham. Her father was a small businessman and her mother a homemaker. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School. She is married to former President William Jefferson Clinton. They have one daughter, Chelsea.
When Bill was elected Governor of Arkansas, Hillary led a task force to improve education in Arkansas through higher standards for schools and serving on the board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, helping them expand and improve their services. She also served on national boards for the Children's Defense Fund, the Child Care Action Campaign, and the Children's Television Workshop.
She also continued her legal career as a partner in a law firm. She led the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay. Hillary was twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.
When her husband was elected President in 1992, Hillary's work as a champion for women was recognized and admired around the world. She traveled the globe speaking out against the degradation and abuse of women and standing up for the powerful idea that women's rights are human rights.
In the White House, Hillary led efforts to make adoption easier, to expand early learning and child care, to increase funding for breast cancer research, and to help veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome who had too often been ignored in the past. She helped launch a national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy and helped create the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which moved children from foster care to adoption more quickly. Thanks in part to her efforts, the number of children who have moved out of foster care into adoption has increased dramatically.
As everyone knows, Hillary's fight for universal health coverage did not succeed. But her commitment to health care for every American has never wavered. She was instrumental in designing and championing the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which has provided millions of children with health insurance. She battled the big drug companies to force them to test their drugs for children and to make sure all kids get the immunizations they need through the Vaccines for Children Program. Immunization rates dramatically improved after the program launched.
Hillary's 1995 book It Takes A Village, about the responsibility we all have to help children succeed, became an international best seller. Hillary has donated the proceeds - more than a million dollars - to children's causes across the country.
Hillary's autobiography, Living History, was also a best seller. It has been translated into 12 languages and sold over 1.3 million copies.
In 2000, Hillary was elected to the United States Senate from New York. As Senator, Hillary has continued her advocacy for children and families and has been a national leader on homeland security and national security issues.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hillary worked with her colleagues to secure the funds New York needed to recover and rebuild. She fought to provide compensation to the families of the victims, grants for hard-hit small businesses, and health care for front line workers at Ground Zero. And she continues to work for resources that enable New York to grow, to improve homeland security for New York and other communities, and to protect all Americans from future attacks.
She is the first New Yorker ever to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, working to see that America's military has the necessary resources to protect our national security. She has visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and at Fort Drum in New York, home of the 10th Mountain Division and other New York bases, as well as at Walter Reed Military Hospital. She has learned first-hand the challenges facing American combat forces. Hillary passed legislation to track the health status of our troops so that conditions like Gulf War Syndrome would no longer be misdiagnosed. She is an original sponsor of legislation that expanded health benefits to members of the National Guard and Reserves and has been a strong critic of the Administration's handling of Iraq.
In the Senate, Hillary has not wavered in her work to expand quality affordable health care to more Americans. She worked to strengthen the Children's Health Insurance Program, which increased coverage for children in low income and working families. She authored legislation that has been enacted to improve quality and lower the cost of prescription drugs and to protect our food supply from bioterrorism. She sponsored legislation to increase America's commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS crisis, and is now leading the fight for expanded use of information technology in the health care system to decrease administrative costs, lower premiums, and reduce medical errors.
Her strong advocacy for children continues in the Senate. Some of Hillary's proudest achievements have been her work to ensure the safety of prescription drugs for children, with legislation now included in the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, and her legislation to help schools address environmental hazards. She has also proposed expanding access to child care. She has passed legislation that will bring more qualified teachers into classrooms and more outstanding principals to lead our schools.
Hillary has been a powerful advocate for women in the Senate. Her commitment to supporting the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade and to reducing the number of abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies was hailed by the New York Times as "frank talk...(and) a promising path." Hillary is one of the original cosponsors of the Prevention First Act to increase access to family planning. Her fight with the Bush Administration ensured that Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, will be available to millions of American women and will reduce the need for abortions.
In 2006, New Yorkers reelected Hillary to the Senate with 67 percent of the vote.
On January 21, 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the 67th Secretary of State of the United States. Secretary Clinton joined the State Department after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator.