William Jefferson Clinton (né Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his presidency, he served as governor of Arkansas (1979–1981 and 1983–1992) and as attorney general of Arkansas (1977–1979). A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was known as a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. He is the husband of Hillary Clinton, who was the Secretary of State (2009–2013) and ran for president in 2008 and 2016.
Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale and they were married in 1975. After graduating from law school, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as state attorney general, followed by two non-consecutive terms as Arkansas governor. As governor, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent Republican President George H. W. Bush. At age 46, he became the third-youngest president in history.
Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history. He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, however, he was reelected in a landslide. He passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures. He also appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus—the first such surplus since 1969. In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Dayton Peace agreement, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the Oslo I Accord and Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and assisted the Northern Ireland peace process. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the second U.S. president to be impeached. The impeachment was based on accusations that Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice for the purpose of concealing his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year-old White House intern. He was acquitted by the Senate and completed his second term in office.
Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since 1945. His presidency has been ranked among the upper tier in historical rankings of U.S. presidents. However, he has also been subject to substantial criticism for his sex scandals, especially in the wake of the Me Too movement. Since leaving office, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed up with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. He has remained active in Democratic Party politics, campaigning in his wife's presidential campaigns in the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections.