WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Hillary Clinton has been in the national spotlight for more than 20 years, serving first as First Lady of the United States, senator of New York, secretary of state in Pres. Obama’s administration, and is now embarking on her second presidential campaign.
You might have heard of her husband, Bill, as well. But what about the rest of her family?
Dorothy Howell Rodham
Hillary attributes her mother’s rough childhood as her motivation to be an advocate for children. Due to her parents’ volatile relationship, Howell was sent to live with her grandparents. Under the guardianship of her grandparents, Dorothy lived under strict rules and was socially isolated. At the age of 14, she left home and got a job as a nanny. Five years after graduating high school, she married Hillary’s father, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham.
Hillary has stated her mother’s biggest regret was not being able to attend college.
Howell’s early struggles helped shape Hillary’s resilient bootstrap, can-do attitude. She joined Hillary on her 2008 presidential campaign and even appeared in an ad.
Hugh and Tony Rodham
Although the Rodham brothers have not been active participants in Hillary’s presidential campaign, they have managed to mingle in the political arena and stir up controversy.
In 1993, both brothers were accused of attempting to solicit corporate donations to fund inaugural parties for family and associates. Hugh Rodham also had an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994.
Hugh practices law, and Tony is a business consultant.
Hillary met her husband, former U.S President Bill Clinton, at Yale in 1970. She showed her desire to carve out a name for herself earlier on in their relationship. It took two proposals before Hillary agreed to marry him. She feared her identity would be lost under Bill’s political ambition.
Now that roles have been reversed, Bill has embraced the role of a political spouse, frequently hitting the campaign trail to speak at rallies on his wife’s behalf.
Calling Hillary “the best darn change-maker I’ve ever met in my entire life,” in his lauded speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., the Clintons have put up a united front throughout this tough election season despite ever-lingering talk about their business-only relationship and decades-old infidelity scandals.
The Clinton’s only child, Chelsea, now 36, fills a crucial role as a surrogate for her mother’s presidential campaign.
This is not Chelsea’s first rodeo, once she even said, “I was literally born into politics.”
She studied history at Princeton University, graduating in 2001. She also holds a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, and a Masters in Philosophy and a Doctorate in Internal Relations from Oxford University.
Chelsea could potentially be the first person ever to have both parents serve as president.
While it’s unclear if she has future political aspirations of her own, Chelsea keeps busy with her work as vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, teaching at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and as a mother of two children, Charlotte and Aiden.
“My earliest memory is my mom picking me up after I had fallen down, giving me a big hug and reading me ‘Goodnight Moon,’” Chelsea said in her DNC speech last summer, and it’s just one of the many anecdotes she’s used to illustrate the close bond they share.
Intelligent and warm, Chelsea has made great strides to change public perception of her mother, who is frequently criticized for coming off as cold and ridged.