Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born October 26, 1947. She was born at the Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Her father is Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, who was a child of English and Welsh immigrants. Her father, was the manager of a small textile business. Her mother is Dorothy Emma Howell and she is of Welsh, English, Scottish, French, and French Canadian descent. Hillary has two brothers that are younger than her. Her brothers names are Hugh and Tony and they were all raised in a United Methodist family. When Hillary was three they lived in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois.
Hillary was a teacher’s favorite at the public school she attended. At Park Ridge, she participated in baseball and swimming and other sports. She earned awards as a Girl Scout and as a Brownie. Later, she was enrolled at Maine East High School, where she became involved in the student council and the school newspaper. She was also selected for the National Honor Society. Her senior year saw took her to Maine South High School, where she was redistricted. She was a National Merit Finalist there and graduated in 1965. Her parent’s wanted her to have an independent and professional career, one where her opportunities would not be limited by gender.
She was brought up in a politically conservative household. She was only thirteen when she helped canvass South Side Chicago following the end of the 1960 United States presidential election. She even found proof of electoral fraud against Republican candidate Richard Nixon. After that she volunteered to campaign for Barry Goldwater in the United States presidential election of 1964. Hillary’s early political endeavors were shaped most by her high school teacher, who also introduced her to Goldwater’s classic The Conscience of a Conservative. She was also inspired politically by her Methodist youth minister, with whom she met civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. She saw and met Martin Luither King, Jr. in Chicago, in 1962.
Hillary registered at Wellesley College, in 1965. She majored in political science. She was president of the Wellesley young republicans during her freshman year. She also supported the elections of both Edward Brooke and John Lindsay. Later, she stepped down from this position, as she had changed her views regarding the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. In the 60s they believed that radical actions could change the political system, not Hillary. She sought to change the system from within. In her junior year, Hillary supported the anti-war presidential nomination campaign of Eugene McCarthy. After the assassignation of Martin Luther King, Jy., she worked and organized a two-day student strike and worked with black students to recruit more black students and faculty. She was also elected president of the Government Association and served until early 1969. Many of her fellow school mates thought that she might eventually become the first woman President of the United States. Her Professor assigned her to intern at the House Republican Conference, and she attended the summer program. She was invited by Representative Charles Goodell to help Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s late-entry campaign for the Republican nomination. Soon after she left the Republican Party for good after becoming upset by Nixon’s portrayal of Rockefeller and what she saw as the convention’s “veiled” racist messages.
She graduated Wellesley in 1969, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also had departmental honors in political science. Her fellow students pressured her into becoming the first student in Wellesley College history to deliver a commencement address. After her speech she received a seven minute long standing ovation.
She also appeared in Life Magazine, and appeared on Irv Kupcinet’s nationally syndicated talk show, and also in the Illinois and New England newspapers. The following summer she worked her way to Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park. That summer she spent time sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez, where she was fired after complaining about unhealthy conditions. The cannery shut down overnight.
Hillary later entered Yale Law School and served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action. Her second year at Yale saw her working at the Yale Child Study Center, where she learned about new research on early childhood development. She also worked as a research assistant on the seminal work, Beyond the Best Interests of the Child in 1973. She was a volunteer at New Haven Legal Services, where she provided legal advice to the poor. She also took child abuse cases at the New Haven Hospital at Yale. In 1970 she was awarded a grant to work at Marian Wright Edelman’s Washington Research Project. There she was assigned to Senator Walter Mondale’s Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. She did research on migrant workers’ problems that included sanitation, housing, health, and education. Edelman later became an important mentor.
It was the spring of 1971 when Hillary began dating Bill Clinton, who was also a student at Yale. The next summer she interned at a law firm in Oakland, California, where she worked on child custody and other causes. Bill Clinton canceled his summer plans to live with her in California. When they returned to law school in New Haven, they continued living together. The very next summer they campaigned together in Texas for the unsuccessful 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern. In 1973, Hillary received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale. She stayed an extra year to be with Clinton. Clinton even proposed marriage to her after graduation, but she refused his offer. Instead she began a year of post-graduate study at the Yale Child Study Center, where she studied children and medicine. Her very first scholorary article was titled “Children Under the Law”, which was published late 1973, in the Harvard Educational Review.
Hillary Rodham was apparently a serious political candidate long before her recent campaign for President of the United States. She is a fine person to study as her accomplishments are abundant and her work as a leader in many fields has defined her character.