You are on page 1of 6

Bill Clinton dubbed himself "the comeback kid," and he proved it over and over b

y overcoming a difficult childhood, political setbacks and heart bypass surgery.


He remained popular personally even though his career was tainted by scandal.
Before being taken to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital with
chest discomfort, he had been working overtime as the U.N. special envoy to Hai
ti following the devastating earthquake there on Jan. 12, 2010.
VIDEO: The former president is hospitalized for a procedure related to his heart
.Play
null
Following are some of the key dates in Clinton's life:
Early Life
Aug. 19, 1946 -- Clinton is born William Jefferson Blythe IV in Hope, Ark., afte
r his father dies in a traffic accident. He later takes the last name of his ste
pfather, Roger Clinton.
July 24, 1963 -- As a high school student and delegate to the American Legion Bo
ys Nation, Clinton meets President John F. Kennedy in the White House Rose Garde
n and is photographed shaking Kennedy's hand.
1968 -- Wins a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University in England.
1968 -- Earns bachelor's degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Ser
vice.
1973 -- Earns a law degree from Yale University. Takes teaching job at Universit
y of Arkansas Law School.
Enters Politics
1974 -- Clinton loses an Arkansas congressional race to incumbent Republican Rep
. John Paul Hammerschmidt.
Oct. 11, 1975 -- Marries Hillary Rodham in Fayetteville, Ark.
1976 -- Elected attorney general of Arkansas.
Nov. 7, 1978 -- Elected governor of Arkansas, defeating Republican Lynn Lowe.
Feb. 27, 1980 -- Hillary Rodham Clinton gives birth to the couple's only child,
Chelsea.
Nov. 4, 1980 -- Loses re-election bid as Arkansas governor. Takes job at private
law firm.
Nov. 2, 1982 -- Re-elected governor of Arkansas, defeating Republican Gov. Frank
D. White in rematch of 1980 race.
Presidential Ambitions
Oct. 3, 1991 -- Amid his fifth term as governor of Arkansas, Clinton declares he
's running for president.
Feb. 18, 1992 -- After damage from scandals including accusations of draft dodgi
ng during the Vietnam War and claims of an extramarital affair, Clinton finishes
second in the New Hampshire Democratic primary and declares, "New Hampshire ton
ight has made Bill Clinton the comeback kid."
June 2, 1992 -- Wraps up the Democratic nomination for president.

July 16, 1992 -- Clinton officially becomes the party's candidate for president
at the Democratic National Convention in New York. Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., is his
running mate.
Nov. 3, 1992 -- Garners 43 percent of the popular vote and 370 electoral votes t
o defeat President George H.W. Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot. Democr
ats maintain their majority in both houses of Congress.
President Clinton
Jan. 20, 1993 -- Clinton is sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States.
Jan. 22, 1993 -- Signs orders overturning Reagan- and Bush-era restrictions on a
bortions.
Feb. 5, 1993 -- Signs his first law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, which all
ows workers at large companies to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend
to family concerns.
April 19, 1993 -- Attorney General Janet Reno authorizes a federal raid to end a
standoff at the compound of a Waco, Texas, cult, resulting in a fire and dozens
of deaths.
July 19, 1993 -- After disputes over whether to allow homosexuals to serve in th
e military, Clinton proposes a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise with military
leaders. The policy allows homosexuals to serve in the military if they do not r
eveal their homosexuality and refrain from homosexual conduct.
July 20, 1993 -- White House attorney Vince Foster is found dead.
Aug. 10, 1993 -- Clinton signs first federal budget -- which calls for reducing
spending and increasing taxes to reduce the deficit -- after it narrowly gained
Congressional approval.
Aug. 10, 1993 -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg sworn in to replace Justice Byron White, be
coming the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sept. 13, 1993 -- Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization sign peace ac
cord at the White House outlining limited Palestinian self-rule in Israeli-occup
ied territories.
Sept. 21, 1993 -- Signs legislation establishing the AmeriCorps program, which a
llows people to volunteer for national service and earn money for college.
Oct. 3, 1993 -- Eighteen U.S. soldiers, part of a peacekeeping and humanitarian
force sent to Somalia by President Bush, are killed after coming under fire.
Nov. 30, 1993 -- Clinton signs the Brady Bill, imposing a waiting period and bac
kground checks for purchasing handguns.
Dec 8, 1993 -- Signs the North American Free Trade Agreement, which reduces tari
ffs and other trade barriers between North American nations.
Under Investigation
Jan. 20, 1994 -- Reno names Robert Fiske as independent counsel to investigate q
uestions surrounding the Clintons' real-estate investment in the Whitewater Deve
lopment Corporation.
March 1994 -- Withdraws U.S. troops from Somalia.

May 6, 1994 -- Paula Jones files a civil lawsuit, later dismissed by a U.S. Dist
rict Court judge, alleging Clinton made sexual advances toward her in 1991, whil
e he was governor of Arkansas.
July 25, 1994 -- At the White House, leaders of Israel and Jordan sign an agreem
ent ending a longstanding state of war between the two nations.
July 29, 1994 -- Orders 200 U.S. troops to civil war-torn Rwanda to support huma
nitarian relief efforts.
Aug. 3, 1994 -- Stephen Breyer sworn in to replace Justice Harry Blackmun on the
U.S. Supreme Court.
Sept. 13, 1994 -- Signs bill banning assault weapons, and funding police hiring
and state anti-crime efforts.
Sept. 26, 1994 -- Clinton's universal health care initiative, which was led by H
illary Rodham Clinton, fails in Congress.
Oct. 10, 1994 -- Facing a threat from U.S. military forces, Haitian military lea
der Raoul Cedras yields power to democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide.
Oct. 21, 1994 -- North Korea agrees to shut down nuclear plants that could produ
ce bomb material in exchange for U.S. help in setting up alternate power supplie
s.
October 1994 -- Withdraws troops from Rwanda.
Nov. 8, 1994 -- Republicans gain majorities in both houses of Congress in mid-te
rm elections.
Dec. 8, 1994 -- Signs global trade agreement that creates the World Trade Organi
zation.
Road to Re-Election
April 19, 1995 -- Bombing at federal building in Oklahoma City kills 168.
Aug. 5, 1995 -- United States and Vietnam establish diplomatic relations.
Nov. 21, 1995 -- Administration holds peace talks between warring parties in Bos
nia, yielding the Dayton peace accord.
Dec. 16, 1995 -- The federal government shuts down amid spending and budget disp
utes between the White House and Congress.
Feb. 8, 1996 -- Clinton signs telecommunications deregulation bill.
April 26, 1996 -- Following second government shutdown, Clinton and Congress fin
ally agree on a compromise federal budget.
Aug. 6, 1996 -- Signs amendments strengthening the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Aug. 22, 1996 -- Signs welfare reform bill over the objections of some Democrats
. The bill limits lifetime welfare benefits to five years and gives more control
to states.
Aug. 28, 1996 -- Officially named the presidential nominee at the Democratic Nat
ional Convention in Chicago.

Sept. 3, 1996 -- United States launches missiles at Iraq in retaliation for the
country's moves against its Kurdish minority.
Nov. 5, 1996 -- Re-elected president with 49 percent of the popular vote and 379
electoral votes, defeating Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Reform Party candidate Ro
ss Perot.
Re-Elected, Then Rebuked
Jan. 20, 1997 -- Clinton sworn in to second term.
Aug. 5, 1997 -- After compromise with Republicans, signs tax-relief plan reducin
g estate and capital gains taxes, increasing cigarette taxes, establishing tax c
redits for children and college tuition, and creating Roth IRAs.
Jan. 16, 1998 -- Kenneth Starr, who replaced Fiske as independent counsel in Aug
ust 1994, receives permission from Reno to expand his investigation to include a
probe of Clinton's alleged sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsk
y.
Jan. 17, 1998 -- Denies sexual relationship with Lewinsky in deposition for Jone
s lawsuit.
Jan. 26, 1998 -- Publicly repeats denials of Lewinsky allegations, saying, "I di
d not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
April 1, 1998 -- U.S. District Court judge dismisses Jones' lawsuit. She later d
rops an appeal of the dismissal, agreeing to a financial settlement.
Aug. 7, 1998 -- Terrorists bomb U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Sal
aam, Tanzania, killing hundreds and injuring thousands.
Aug. 17, 1998 -- Testifies via closed-circuit television from the White House be
fore the federal Whitewater grand jury, becoming the first president to testify
before a grand jury in his own defense.
Aug. 20, 1998 -- Orders retaliatory missile attacks in response to the embassy b
ombings. The attacks in Afghanistan and Sudan are said to target Osama bin Laden
's terror network, which is suspected of launching the embassy attacks.
Sept. 9, 1998 -- Starr delivers to Congress an explicit report detailing the fin
dings of his years-long investigation into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing.
Oct. 23, 1998 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leade
r Yasser Arafat reach agreement at Clinton-organized talks in Maryland that Isra
el will transfer more West Bank territory into Palestinian control in exchange f
or Palestinian efforts to curb terrorism. However, violence later increases and
Israel refuses to transfer the territory.
Oct. 28, 1998 -- Announces a $70 billion budget surplus -- the first federal sur
plus since 1969.
Dec. 16, 1998 -- Clinton becomes the second U.S. president to be impeached by th
e House of Representatives.
Economic Success, Outside Controversies
Feb. 12, 1999 -- The Senate finds Clinton not guilty on the House's impeachment
charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

March 24, 1999 -- NATO forces, including those from the United States, start bom
bing Serb military targets in Kosovo.
June 10, 1999 -- Negotiators reach international peace plan for Kosovo. NATO sus
pends bombing campaign.
Oct. 13, 1999 -- U.S. Senate refuses to ratify the Clinton-signed Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty, which would have forbid nuclear weapons testing.
Sept. 2, 1999 -- The Clintons purchase a home in Chappaqua, N.Y., north of New Y
ork City.
Feb. 4, 2000 -- Announces the U.S. economy has set a record for its longest unin
terrupted economic expansion.
April 22, 2000 -- Federal agents seize Elian Gonzalez, a 6-year-old Cuban refuge
e boy, in a raid on the Miami home of his relatives. Officials eventually return
Gonzalez to his father's custody in Cuba, angering many U.S.-based Cubans.
July 13, 2000 -- United States and Vietnam normalize trade relations.
Oct. 10, 2000 -- Clinton signs bill to grant permanent normal trade relations wi
th China.
Oct. 12, 2000 -- Terrorists attack the USS Cole in a Yemeni port, blowing a hole
in the side of the ship and killing 17 sailors.
Nov. 7, 2000 -- Hillary Clinton is elected to represent New York state in the U.
S. Senate. Turmoil involving the vote in Florida leaves presidential race betwee
n Gore and Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush unresolved, though Bush eventual
ly emerges as the winner.
Nov. 17, 2000 -- Clinton arrives for the first official state visit to Vietnam b
y a U.S. president.
Jan. 20, 2001 -- On his last day in office, Clinton grants pardons to dozens of
people, including Marc Rich, a commodities trader living in Switzerland to avoid
prosecution on numerous charges.
Elder Statesman
April 2001 -- After controversy over the public expense of proposed office space
in downtown New York City, Clinton instead opts for less-expensive office space
in the Harlem neighborhood.
June 9, 2003 -- Hillary Clinton's memoirs, "Living History," are published.
June 22, 2004 -- Clinton's memoirs, "My Life," are published.
Sept. 6, 2004 -- Undergoes heart bypass surgery in New York City.
Fall 2004 -- Clinton stumps for unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate S
en. John Kerry, D-Mass.
Nov. 18, 2004 -- Dedication and opening of William J. Clinton Presidential Cente
r and Park in Little Rock, Ark.
December 2004 -- Teams with former President George H.W. Bush to lead the U.S. r
esponse to the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

May 3, 2005 -- Joins forces with a fellow former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabe
e, a Republican, and the American Heart Association to launch a campaign against
childhood obesity.
Dec. 27, 2005 -- Clinton and President George H.W. Bush are named ABC News' peop
le of the year for their relief efforts on behalf of victims of the Indian Ocean
tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
February 2006 -- Tours India as part of his efforts to fight world AIDS.
Jan. 26, 2008 -- Sparks controversy by explaining Barack Obama's success in the
South Carolina Democratic presidential primary against his wife, Hillary Clinton
, by citing an earlier African-American candidate's record there: "Jesse Jackson
won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a
good campaign here."
July-August 2008 -- Tours African nations with daughter Chelsea Clinton to obser
ve humanitarian work by the Clinton Foundation.
May 19, 2009 -- Appointed the United Nations special envoy to Haiti.
Aug. 4, 2009 -- Returns from a surprise trip to North Korea after securing the r
elease of jailed U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.
Jan. 12, 2010 -- Major earthquake strikes Haiti, to which Clinton is the U.N. sp
ecial envoy.
Jan. 16, 2010 -- President Obama officially enlists former presidents Clinton an
d George W. Bush to lead an ongoing American effort to help Haiti recover from a
devastating earthquake four days before. Clinton soon visits Haiti for a firsth
and look at the destruction.
Feb. 5, 2010 -- Pays a second visit to Haiti after being asked by the U.N. secre
tary-general to coordinate all international earthquake assistance to the beleag
uered island nation.
Feb. 11, 2010 -- Has two stents placed in his coronary artery at the Columbia Ca
mpus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.