Hillary Clinton – whose titles included author, lawyer, mother, first lady, U.S. senator, presidential candidate and secretary of state – died TK TK. She was 65.
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At the end of 2012 Clinton suffered a blood clot in the area between her brain and skull behind the right ear and was treated at New York Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital in Manhattan before being released to her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
Born in Chicago Oct. 26, 1947 – making her the first president’s wife to be born after World War II – Hillary Diane Rodham was the eldest child – and only daughter (she had two younger brothers, Hugh and Anthony) – of Hugh Rodham, a successful textile-store owner, and Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham. Originally a Republican who campaigned for 1964 presidential G.O.P. candidate Barry Goldwater (who lost in a landside to Democratic incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson), Clinton became a Democrat in 1968, during the youth activism movement of the times.
She was active in student politics at Wellesley College, where she was elected her senior class president, and upon graduating in 1969 entered Yale Law School, where she met Bill Clinton. Graduating with honors in 1973, by the following year – at the height of the Watergate Scandal that was to bring down President Richard M. Nixon – she was on the impeachment inquiry staff that advised the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.
Soon after she joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, where Bill Clinton, who by now was her boyfriend, was teaching, as well. One August day, after Hillary returned from a few weeks off to visit friends, “Bill picked me up,” she told PEOPLE in 1992. “But instead of driving me to my apartment he drove me up to this house, and he said, ‘I’ve bought that house you like.’ I said, ‘What house I like?’ He said, ‘You know. Remember when we were driving around the day before you left and there was a FOR SALE sign and you said, ‘Gee, that’s a nice house.’ I said, ‘Bill, that’s all I said. I’ve never been inside it.’ He said, ‘Well, I thought you liked it, so I bought it. So I guess we’ll have to get married now.’ ”
They wed Oct. 11, 1975, and their daughter, Chelsea Victoria, was born Feb. 27, 1980.
“I think one of the things that has made Chelsea’s life bearable as an only child is that we have done so many things together,” Hillary told PEOPLE. “I have driven her to school every day since kindergarten, unless I was away. The morning is our time.”
Joining the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock in 1977, the year before her husband was first elected governor of Arkansas (he served from 1979-1981 and again from 1983-1992), Hillary as the state’s first lady chaired committees that included the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee and the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (of which she was a co-founder), and served on various public-service group boards.
It was during Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign that her star began to rise on the national level. He named her as head of the Task Force on National Health Reform, though the plan produced by the group died before ever making it to Congress.
And while Clintonomics saw a reduction in national unemployment and financial deficit, the Clintons came under scrutiny during a congressional investigation of the Whitewater real estate project in which the couple had invested. In 1998 came the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, with rumors that Hillary was prepared to leave Bill over his extramarital affair.
From 2001 until 2009, when she became Secretary of State under her former rival for the office of President, Barack Obama, Hillary served as U.S. Senator from New York. As a senator she continued to push for health-care reform and she championed rights for children.
As with anyone in the public eye – especially, it might be argued, a woman – Clinton, like her role model Eleanor Roosevelt, encountered her fair share of criticism (even her ubiquitous pantsuits became a target. Without question, however, she would soldier on. She worked a tireless schedule – logging more than 950,000 travel miles as Secretary of State, according to an official tally, was generally seen in command of a situation anywhere in the world and was a consistently eloquent speaker – even if you didn’t happen to agree with her viewpoint.
Barbara Walters, in selecting Clinton as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 (Time magazine that same year also named her one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People), said of her, “Every decade or so, Hillary Clinton has shaken up our preconceptions and redefined herself. She worked to empower women around the globe. And the United States will continue to stand strongly by the women of Afghanistan. She brokered a high profile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. And she even did a little dancing.”
Said Walters, “It’s a unique record, and it has made her one of the most acclaimed secretaries of state in modern history.”