Hillary Clinton’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hillary Clinton family

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stands with former President Bill Clinton, their daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky. (Getty)

Hillary Clinton has often talked about her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. When she accepted the Democratic party’s presidential nomination at the DNC last week, she spoke about her family and each member’s impact on her life.

During the convention, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea gave speeches that offered a more personal look at Hillary’s life.

Here’s a look at the Democratic presidential candidate’s family:


1. Bill & Hillary Met at Yale in 1971

Hillary & Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton

A 1992 photo shows then Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton (L) and his wife Hillary (R) embracing. (Getty)

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham met while attending Yale.

In his address at the Democratic convention, he began by recounting when he first met Hillary at Yale Law School in 1971.

“In the spring of 1971 I met a girl,” he told the crowd.

“She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no makeup and she exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic,” he said.

“I was so impressed and surprised, momentarily I was speechless.”

Bill took the audience on a trip down memory lane. He recounted meeting Hillary’s family for the first time, and how it took three proposals before Hillary agreed to marry him.

“I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was and I really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret,” he said.

The two-term president also recounted when their daughter, and only child, Chelsea was born.

Bill and Hillary were married in 1975. Their relationship has been tested a number of times, including when news broke of Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and his public impeachment trial.

“The most difficult decisions I have made in my life were to stay married to Bill and to run for the Senate from New York,” Hillary Clinton wrote about the Lewinsky affair in “Living History,” her autobiography.


2. Chelsea Clinton Works For the Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton

Hillary Clinton along with her daughter Chelsea Clinton acknowledge the crowd at the end on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention. (Getty)

Chelsea Clinton, 36, serves as Vice Chair of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

“It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents? I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents … it’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work, both as a daughter and also as someone who believes I have contributions to make,” the former first daughter told the New York Daily News.

The New York Times reports “she remains on the board of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a digital media company overseen by Barry Diller, a longtime Clinton supporter.” In 2011, that position paid an annual retainer of $50,000 and a $250,000 grant of restricted stock, according to the New York Times.


3. Hillary Is a Grandmother to 2

Chelsea Clinton, Chelsea Clinton family, Hillary Clinton family

(L to R) Former President Bill Clinton, Marc Mezvinsky, Chelsea Clinton, holding her newborn son Aidan, and Hillary Clinton exit Lenox Hill Hospital, June 20, 2016 in New York City. (Getty)

Chelsea wed Marc Mezvinsky in a lavish 2010 ceremony estimated to have cost $3 million. They wed at an outdoor ceremony at the Astor Courts estate on Saturday, July 31, 2010 in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

The couple now have two children: Charlotte, and Aidan. Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky was born in September 2014. Chelsea gave birth to her son, Aidan on June 19, 2016.

“What a joy being with our new grandson, Aidan. So grateful. -H,” Hillary Clinton posted on Twitter following his birth.

“Aidan has made two dads very happy this Father’s Day. Hillary and I are thrilled for Marc and Chelsea!” Bill Clinton tweeted on the same day.

During Chelsea’s speech at the DNC, she talked about Hillary Clinton as a grandmother to 2-year-old Charlotte and 5-week-old Aidan.

Charlotte, Chelsea said, “loves Elmo, she loves blueberries and above all she loves face-timing with grandma.” She explained that Grandma Hillary, “can be about to walk on stage for a debate or a speech” but will make time for a reading of “Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo” via video chat.


4. Hillary Has Said Her Mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham Is Her ‘Inspiration’

Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton mother, Dorothy Rodham

Hillary Clinton, her mother Dorothy Rodham and Chelsea Clinton pose during the wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky at the Astor Courts Estate on July 31, 2010. (Getty)

When Hillary Clinton claimed the presumptive Democratic presidential nomination in June, she mentioned one woman in particular as her inspiration: her late mother.

Clinton noted her mother’s absence, who would have recently turned 97. “I wish she could see her daughter become the Democratic nominee,” Clinton said of Dorothy Howell Rodham, who passed away in 2011.

At the start of the 2016 campaign, Clinton often recounted the story of Dorothy’s difficult childhood. It began in a broken home in Chicago where her parents were always at odds, and not equipped to raise Dorothy and her younger sister. When she was only eight years old, her parents divorced. Dorothy and her sister were sent across the country by train to live with their grandparents in California. As Clinton wrote in her autobiography, Living History, life was not better there.

Dorothy went from living in a boarding house where her parents violently fought, to an extremely strict environment with her grandparents. Clinton wrote that her mother was treated cruelly and isolated socially. After she was caught trick-or-treating with friends, her grandmother declared that she would be confined to her room for a year. Clinton went on to explain it lasted a few months until a relative found out. At age 14, she could no longer bear it and left her grandparents household to find a job as a $3-a-week nanny. On her own, she attended high school in Alhambra, California.

In her autobiography, Clinton recounted her mother’s hardships and how it shaped her views. “I thought often of my own mother’s neglect and mistreatment at the hands of her parents and grandparents, and how other caring adults filled the emotional void to help her,” she wrote. At a 2016 rally on Roosevelt Island in New York City, Clinton explained how her mother’s experience inspired her to be an advocate for children and families.

In her mother’s final years, her health began to fail due to heart problems. She passed away in 2011.


5. Her Father, Hugh E. Rodham Was a Staunch Republican

Hillary Clinton Father, Hillary Clinton Dad, Hillary Clinton Hugh Rodham

Hillary Clinton’s father, Hugh E. Rodham, served in the United States Navy during World War II.

In her autobiography, Clinton describes her father as a “rock-ribbed, up-by-your-bootstraps, conservative Republican and proud of it.”

Rodham was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and later worked in the textile industry in New York and Chicago. He then bought a drapery company in Chicago, which sold drapes and window shades to offices, hotels, airlines, and theaters.

During Clinton’s speech in which she accepted the Democratic nomination for president, she spoke about her father.

My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

When the war was over he started his own small business printing fabric for draperies. I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had. And he did.

Rodham died of a stroke in 1993, three months into Bill Clinton’s first term as president.


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