Hillary Clinton has been a very prominent figure in American politics through the mid 90s through to the 2010s. She has held various political titles including the First Lady and the U.S. Senator, but where did she grow up?
Hillary Clinton was raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. She lived in Chicago for the first three years of her youth, and then her and her family moved to Park Ridge, a city close to Chicago, where Hillary resided until 1965 when she moved to Massachusetts to attend college at Wellesley.
Are you curious about Hillary’s childhood and how she got into American politics? Continue reading below to find the answers to your questions.
Growing Up in Illinois
Born October 26, 1947, to Hugh and Dorothy Rodham, Hillary grew up in the same state that Ronald Reagan, the US’ 40th president was born in, though the city she was raised in is 100 miles northeast of Dixon, where Reagan was born.
Park Ridge in Illinois is described as one of the best places to live in Illinois. It’s a less densely populated area than some other cities, and was home to 36,950 out of 12 million who live in Illinois in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Growing up, her parents ingrained the values of hard work and high academic achievement into Hillary’s brain, always pushing her to achieve everything she was capable of and more. This meant that Hillary was one of her teacher’s favorite students.
Clinton attended Maine East High School. While attending high school, she enjoyed her extracurriculars, writing for the student newspaper and participating in the student’s council. Young Hillary was influenced by her high school history teacher, who shared the same political views as her father (anti-communist).
In 1963, Clinton was lucky enough to hear Martin Luther King Jr. in one of his many speeches.
“As a young girl, I had the great privilege of hearing Dr. King speak in Chicago. My youth minister from our church took a few of us down on a cold January night to hear someone that we had read about, we had watched on television, we had seen with our own eyes from a distance, this phenomenon known as Dr. King. He titled the sermon he gave that night ‘Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.’” – Hillary Clinton in 2007. (The excerpt from her speech can be found here.)
By 1965, Clinton had moved to Massachusetts to study political science at Wellesley College. She was active in the political scene throughout college, appearing as president of Wellesley Young Republicans in her first year, and later obtaining the position of president of the Wellesley College Government Association.
Upon graduating from Wellesley College, Clinton then went on to attend one of the most prestigious universities to study law—Yale University in Conneticut, where she served on the editorial board of the student-edited newspaper, Yale Review of Law and Social Action.
Marrying Bill Clinton
Despite having her doubts about marriage as she thought it would threaten her independent identity as a woman and have her achievements minimized and credited to her marriage, Hillary married Bill in 1975 after the pair bought their first house together in Fayetteville.
17 years after the couple wed, Bill defeated opponent George W. Bush in the race to presidency and was elected as the President of the US in 1992, serving in office for eight years until 2001 when he was proceeded by George H. W. Bush.
Bill and Hillary’s relationship hasn’t always been great. In the 90s, Hillary stood by her husband as he caused a scandal after his affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. On Good Morning America in 2019, Hillary described staying in her marriage as the “gutsiest” thing that she has ever done.