October 26, 1947: Hillary Rodham Clinton Was Born

Photo: Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

On October 26, 1947, Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Park Ridge, IL. The daughter of a textile business owner and a homemaker, she would grow up to achieve multiple firsts for women in public life.

Clinton was not only the first woman in American history to become the nominee of a major political party, she was the first American First Lady ever elected to public office, when she won a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2001.

The former First Lady of Arkansas transformed the role of First Lady of the United States during her husband’s tenure as president, from 1993 to 2001. She became such a key part of the Clinton administration that she was often compared to another active first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

In 2007, she announced her plan to run for President in the 2008 presidential race. Although she lost in the Democratic primary to Barack Obama, he selected her to join his administration as Secretary of State.

She served from 2009 to 2013, a tenure marked by both relentless travel — visiting 112 countries and traversing 956,733 miles, more than any of her predecessors — and significant controversy. After Islamic militants killed four people at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012 — including US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens — critics raised persistent questions about whether her administration could have done more to prevent it.

After a hard-fought primary, Clinton accepted the Democratic Nomination for President on July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia, PA. Clinton wore a white pantsuit—a nod to early suffragettes and Geraldine Ferraro, the first female major party candidate for Vice President, who wore white at the 1984 Democratic Convention to accept her nomination.

Although many believed that Clinton was poised to break the ultimate glass ceiling of the presidency on election night (November 8, 2016), she lost to Republican candidate, businessman and reality TV star Donald J. Trump. Clinton won almost three million more votes than her opponent, yet Trump won the Electoral College, becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Clinton recently released a book, “What Happened,” discussing the 2016 election. Despite that loss, her tenacity and fortitude remain an inspiration to other women wishing to enter public service.

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