Bill Clinton Young – Early Life

Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas.

He is the son of William Jefferson Blythe Jr., a traveling salesman who had died in an automobile accident three months before his birth, and Virginia Dell Cassidy (later Virginia Kelley).

Soon, Virginia traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after Bill Clinton Young was born. She left him in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store.

In 1950, Bill’s mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr. He co-owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his brother and Earl T. Ricks. The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950.

Although he immediately assumed use of his stepfather’s surname, it was not until Clinton turned 15 that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather.

Bill Clinton Young – Education

In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John’s Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, and Hot Springs High School. Here he was an active student leader, avid reader, and musician.

Later Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band’s saxophone section.

Clinton began an interest in law at Hot Springs High. He took up the challenge to argue the defense of the ancient Roman Senator Catiline in a mock trial in his Latin class.

After a vigorous defense that made use of his “budding rhetorical and political skills”. He told the Latin teacher Elizabeth Buck that it “made him realize that someday he would study law”.

Clinton has identified two influential moments in his life, both occurring in 1963, that contributed to his decision to become a public figure. Later in one was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy.

Bill Clinton Young
Bill Clinton Young (with President Kennedy)

The other was watching Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech on TV, which impressed him enough that he later memorized it.

With the aid of scholarships, Clinton attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington. Later he receiving a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree in 1968.

Upon graduating from Georgetown in 1968, Clinton won a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford. There he initially read for a B.Phil. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics but transferred to a B.Litt. in politics and, ultimately, a B.Phil. in politics.

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