Bill Clinton became one of the most famous people in the world when he was sworn in as US President in 1993. Since then, the Arkansas native has had a long and successful career as a politician, though the infamous affair with intern Monica Lewinsky overshadowed a considerable chunk of his legacy in the White House.
At the same time, despite the affair, which was undeniably a massive scandal, Bill has remained married to his wife, Hillary Clinton, for more than 45 years. The two met while studying at college, and haven’t left each other’s sides since, despite enduring many tough times.
As it turns out, Hillary wasn’t sure about marrying Bill in the first place – it took him three times of asking before she said yes.
Here’s all you need to know about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage.
Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. At the time, his mother, Virginia Kelley, had experienced an immense tragedy, as his father passed away in a traffic accident just three months before Bill was born.
When he was four years of age, his mother married Roger Clinton. However, his stepfather wasn’t a good man at all. Reportedly, he was always drunk and beat Bill’s mother.
“This sounds crazy but I never hated my stepfather, Roger Clinton. Even after he pulled the trigger in here, when he was drunk, even after he beat my mother — even after I got big enough to stop him from beating my mother,” Bill said.
“I had some understanding that he was a good man and couldn’t whip his drinking problem. And that he was full of demons that he couldn’t control it and he took it out in destructive, hateful ways. I hated what he did, but I never hated him.”
At school, he never told any of his friends what was happening at home. In his book, Bill Clinton wrote that he was living “two parallel lives” from his childhood into his adult years, all the way to when he became a politician. What his stepfather did was his dark secret.
Despite what Roger Clinton did, Bill decided to take his last name when in high school. He kept the first and second names of his biological father, William Jefferson, but not his surname.
“I think the fact that I was born without a father, and that I spent a lifetime trying to put together a picture of one also had a lot to do with how I turned out,” Bill explained.
“Good and not so good. But I think on balance, more good than bad. But it had a lot to do with it.”