William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the forty-second President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas. He was the third-youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and is known as the first baby boomer president, as he was born in the period after the Second World War.
Clinton was described as a New Democrat and was mainly responsible for the Third Way philosophy of governance that came to epitomize his two terms as president. His policies, on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, have been described as "centrist." Clinton presided over the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history, which included a balanced budget and a federal surplus. His presidency was also quickly challenged. On the heels of a failed attempt at health care reform with a Democratic Congress, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. In his second term he was impeached by the U.S. House for perjury , but was subsequently acquitted by the United States Senate and completed his term.
Clinton left office with a 65% approval rating, the highest end-of-presidency rating of any President that came into office after World War II. However, public reaction to the Lewinsky scandal left a mixed impression about his personal character. Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes, such as treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he released a personal autobiography, My Life . His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the junior United States Senator from the state of New York, where they both currently reside, and a Democratic candidate for president in the 2008 election.