William J. Clinton

Inducted May 1, 1988

Philanthropist, Politician

Hot Springs Chapter

Hot Springs, AR

Who knew that an Arkansas DeMolay would go on to lead the country as 42nd President of the United States?

Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe IV on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, three months after his father died in a traffic accident. When he was four years old, his mother wed Roger Clinton, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. In high school, he took his step-father's name.

Clinton excelled in academics and was a talented saxophone player. At one time, he considered becoming a professional musician. In high school, he met President John Kennedy while serving as a delegate to Boys Nation, leading him to become a public servant.

After graduating from Georgetown University, Clinton won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. In 1973, he received a law degree from Yale University, and entered politics in Arkansas. In 1975, he married Hillary Rodham, and in 1980, their only child, Chelsea, was born.

In 1976, Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General, and became governor in 1978. He lost a bid for a second term, but regained the office four years later, serving until he defeated incumbent George Bush, Sr., and third party candidate Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential race. President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore represented the first time in twelve years that both the White House and Congress were held by the same party. In 1996, Clinton was re-elected president. During the Clinton administration, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well-being than at any time in history. He boasted the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country's history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare roles.

Clinton was initiated into Hot Springs Chapter DeMolay in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1961, where he served as Master Councilor. He received the Chevalier in 1964, and the Legion of Honor in 1979. Clinton was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on May 1, 1988.

"For sixty-nine years, the Order of DeMolay has prepared young men to become better citizens and leaders for our country. My DeMolay experience gave me the confidence to develop my skills as a speaker, team member, and leader, and then to realize and accomplish my dreams. I will always be thankful for the guidance given to me by my friends in DeMolay. "