Constitution Daily

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10 birthday facts about the 42nd president, Bill Clinton

August 19, 2017 by NCC Staff


August 19th marks the 71st birthday of former President Bill Clinton, whose eight-year term dominated the decade of the 1990s.

clintonannotatedClinton was born on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas. Clinton was the second-youngest president ever elected, when he defeated President George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in 1992. He was 46 years old at the time of his inauguration.

Since he left office in 2001, President Clinton and the former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, haven’t left the front lines of the American political scene.

Here are 10 facts you may not know about one of the most public of all presidents.

1. Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush are the only consecutive presidents who were left handed.

2. Another connection between President Clinton and George H.W. Bush: They are both 6 feet 2 inches and are tied for fourth place among the listing of tallest presidents.

3. In 1996, President Clinton became the first Democrat to be elected to a second term since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936. (President Barack Obama repeated the task in 2012.)

4. A cat named “Socks” was one of the most famous of all presidential pets as part of the Clinton family’s stay in the White House. But President Clinton was also reportedly allergic to cat dander.

5. Clinton is the only president who was a Rhodes Scholar. Other people at Oxford in 1968 as scholars with Clinton were Strobe Talbott and Robert Reich.

6. Clinton was just 16 years old when he shook hands with President John F. Kennedy in 1963, just four months before Kennedy’s death.  Clinton later said he “muscled” his way through the line to meet JFK at the Boys Nation event.

7. Clinton was known as the “Boy Governor” when he won election in 1978 at the age of just 32. He lost his next election in 1980, but then he won three consecutive elections.

8. Clinton excelled as a saxophone player in high school, even earning first chair in a state band of students. But the future president made a career change after meeting Kennedy—and deciding he couldn’t be as good as John Coltrane.

9. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech so impressed a teenaged Clinton that he memorized the entire speech right after it was given.

10. Clinton moved to Dallas in 1972 to work on George McGovern’s presidential campaign. Another young mover-and-shaker who worked with Clinton on the McGovern campaign was Steven Spielberg.


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