He told ABC News’ Kate Snow in a May 2005 interview that his heart problem opened his eyes and led him to take up the cause.
“After I had my heart problem, I really felt that I ought to do something in this area because the coronary-related disease is still the number one killer in America,” he said. “And because my problem directly resulted from high cholesterol, clogging of the arteries, and poor eating habits caused it over a long period of time. So I just thought I ought to do this.”
Clinton told Snow in August 2008 that his surgery and his philanthropic work changed his life.
“I think surviving that heart thing and then doing this work and being so inspired by people like this has really changed me in a way,” he said.
“I was honored to live there [in the White House] and I was honored to do the job. And I loved every day of it. But I like what I’m doing now,” Clinton added. “You have to live in the moment. Time is passing. You can’t make yesterday again. You have to live in the moment and go forward.”
Click HERE to watch Bill Clinton’s full 2008 interview with Kate Snow.