Hillary Clinton has been many things in her life: first lady, senator, presidential candidate, secretary of state. But today she can add one more role to the list: senior citizen. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turns 65 today, a feat that warrants a look back at her long and accomplished career.
Hillary Rodham was born to Dorothy and Hugh Rodham on Oct. 26, 1947, in Chicago. She graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School, where she met her future husband, Bill Clinton.
Upon graduation, she moved to Arkansas in 1974, and married Bill Clinton in 1975. While in Arkansas, Clinton worked as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law, and later worked at the Rose law firm, where she became the firm’s first female partner, a first in a long list of accomplishments that would crack a glass ceiling for women everywhere.
She served as first lady of Arkansas for 12 years after her husband was elected governor there and became first lady of the United States after Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. During her tenure as U.S. first lady, Clinton worked to improve the country’s health care system, and became the most traveled first lady in American history, voyaging across the globe to advocate for both women’s rights and human rights, arguing that two issues were one in the same.
During this time, Clinton also worked with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to found the Vital Voices Democracy initiative, an organization that, according to its website, works to “identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential. …”
Clinton’s extensive political activity during her time as first lady set the stage for a historic 2000 Senate run, which resulted in her becoming not only the first U.S. first lady elected to the U.S. Senate but also the first female senator to represent the state of New York.
In 2007, Clinton launched a bid to bid to become president of the United States, which had she succeeded, would have made her the first female U.S. president. She ceded the nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama, campaigning extensively for him. He made her secretary of state in 2008, a position she holds today.
Clinton is the first former first lady to serve in a president’s cabinet, and remains the most traveled secretary of state for her time in office.
While Clinton has announced her intention to retire from government at the end of President Obama’s term, some speculate she might be doing so to prepare for a second run at the presidency. We’ll just have to wait and see.