Hillary and Bill Clinton have been together for nearly 50 years. Here's a timeline of their relationship.




Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  
  • Hillary and Bill Clinton met in 1971 and have been married since 1975.

  • In 1976, Bill was elected to his first government official position with Hillary by his side.

  • Bill admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky in 1998.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are arguably one of the most well-known couples in the public eye.

The two have been together for about 50 years, and have been involved in the political sphere for about as long, both on a state and national scale.

From major campaign wins to the growth of their family - here is a complete timeline of their relationship:

1971: They met at Yale University Library.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton  

The future president and first lady of the United States met in 1971 while studying together at Yale Law School, with their official meet happening at the library.

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Bill shared the story of how he met Hillary at the Yale University Library after noticing her in class, saying, "She exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic."

1972: A year later, they worked together on George McGovern's presidential campaign.

Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton
Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton  

Early in their relationship, the former White House residents embarked on a political endeavor together as they traveled to Texas in 1972 to aid George McGovern with his presidential campaign.

According to the Texas Tribune, Bill served as McGovern's "Texas political point man" while Hillary was "responsible for registering black and Hispanic South Texas voters for the Democratic National Committee."

1973: Bill proposed to Hillary for the first time in Ennerdale, England.

Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton  

Hillary didn't accept Bill's first proposal.

According to ABC, Bill proposed to Hillary for the first time in 1973 in Ennerdale, England, but she initially turned him down because she "needed time." Shortly after finding a home in Arkansas, Hillary accepted Bill's proposal.

1975: They tied the knot after fours years together with just 15 guests at the ceremony.

Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  

About two years after getting engaged, Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton wed in the living room of their brand new home in Arkansas with a Methodist minister to officiate, according to The Knot.

Just 15 people attended the private ceremony, but the newlyweds welcomed hundreds of friends to a backyard reception.

1976: Bill was elected to his first government official position in Arkansas.

hillary clinton bill clinton
hillary clinton bill clinton  

Bill's first successful foray into politics came with his election to Arkansas Attorney General in 1976 when he ran unopposed.

His nomination and election came after a failed run at the House of Representatives in 1974, according to CNN. He lost to the Republican incumbent, John Paul Hammerschmidt.

1978: He then became the second-youngest governor of Arkansas.

hillary bill clinton
hillary bill clinton  

After a two-year stint as the Attorney General, Clinton was elected the governor of Arkansas in 1978 at just 32 years old.

At the time, he was the youngest governor in the country and the second-youngest governor in the state of Arkansas's history, according to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.

1980: The two welcomed their first and only child, Chelsea Clinton.

Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton  

The couple became parents to Chelsea Victoria Clinton in February 1980.

As the only child of the couple, Chelsea spent the first 12 years of her life in Arkansas before moving to Washington DC to become the first daughter.

Chelsea currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, a board member of Foundation affiliate Clinton Health Access Initiative.

The 1990s: During Bill's presidential campaign, the "Whitewater controversy" rocked the couple's budding legacy.

bill hillary clinton
bill hillary clinton  

In the 1990s, the "Whitewater controversy" rocked the couple's budding legacy when the United States Office of Independent Counsel investigated the couple in relation to their investment in 230 acres of riverfront land in Arkansas in 1978.

To develop the land into vacation homes, Bill and Hillary formed the Whitewater Development Corporation with James (Jim) and Susan McDougal.

The project failed and Jim McDougal bought a small savings and loan association, and, according to Vox "renamed it Madison Guaranty, and defrauded both it and the small-business investment firm Capital Management Services to the tune of $3 million."

The Clintons came under investigation after it was alleged they were involved in the defrauding.

Of the controversy, according to The Washington Post, in 1994, "The House and Senate Banking committees begin hearings on Whitewater. Twenty-nine Clinton administration officials are subpoenaed or testify at congressional hearings. All are cleared of any wrongdoing."

In her 2003 memoir "Living History," Hillary only briefly acknowledged the controversy, simply writing there were "public relations mistakes in how we handled the growing controversy'' and ''Whitewater never seemed real because it wasn't."

1992: Bill was elected 42nd President of the United States and Hillary became first lady.

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton  

In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected 42nd President of the United States, beating Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush, with 370 electoral votes against Bush's 168.

He was inaugurated January 20, 1993, making Hillary and Chelsea the official first lady and first daughter, respectively.

He was re-elected for a second term in 1996.

1994: Paula Jones filed a lawsuit against Bill, alleging he made unwanted advances toward her in 1991.

Paula Jones
Paula Jones  

Four years before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, Paula Jones, a former employee of the State of Arkansas' Industrial Development Commission, sued Bill Clinton, alleging that he exposed himself and propositioned her at a conference in Little Rock.

Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled in favor of Clinton stating that the claims did not amount to sexual assault and that Jones had no evidence she'd been punished or emotionally afflicted.

Jones appealed for a settlement of $850,000, only $200,000 of which didn't go to legal fees.

1998: News surfaced of Bill's affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky  

In 1998, news broke of President Clinton's 1995 affair with then-22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which eventually led to his impeachment by the House.

Several news outlets broke the story of the alleged sexual relationship in January of that year and Bill Clinton denied them.

Hillary denied the claims, even going so far as to characterize the accusations against Bill as a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Although Lewinsky initially denied the claims in regards to the Paula Jones case, she later confirmed the relationship and testified twice in front of the grand jury and handed over to prosecutors a dark blue dress that she alleged may contain physical evidence of her sexual relationship with Bill Clinton.

August 1998: Bill privately confirmed to Hillary his relationship with Lewinsky.

Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  

In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters in 2003, Hillary divulged the details of Bill's confession of the Lewinsky affair to Hillary: "I was furious," she said. "I was dumbfounded, I was … just beside myself with anger and disappointment. You know, I couldn't imagine how he could have done that to me or to anyone else, and that's what I basically told him on that long ago morning."

"He just kept saying that he was very sorry over and over again," she said.

August 17, 1998: Bill Clinton admitted to having inappropriate relations with Monica Lewinsky.

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton  

In August, amidst his trial, President Clinton submitted to hours of videotaped testimony from Independent Counsel Ken Starr's prosecutors for the grand jury.

Clinton admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky on national TV.

1998-1999: Bill was impeached and acquitted by the House.

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton  

During his second term, Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1998 by the House following the news of the Lewinsky scandal, on the grounds that Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice.

But the charges weren't drawn in response to Lewinsky, but to Paula Jones' lawsuit four years earlier.

The proceedings lasted two months, with Clinton being acquitted in February of 1999, in a 55-45 vote against his impeachment, according to Time magazine.

The couple moved to Chappaqua, New York, in 2001 after Bill's second term ended.

Bill Hillary Clinton
Bill Hillary Clinton  

Once Bill Clinton's second term as president ended in 2001, the couple moved to Chappaqua, New York, to pursue other endeavors, according to The History Channel.

Bill began consulting for humanitarian and public policy groups while Hillary entered the political world.

2001: Hillary took her turn at elected office.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton  

The career tables turned after the Clintons moved to Chappaqua as Hillary made her own foray into politics as she ran and won a seat in the Senate.

She served as a senator for New York from 2001 to 2009.

2003: Hillary publicly acknowledged the Monica Lewinsky scandal in her memoir, "Living History."

Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton  

Though it had been five years since the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary had yet to make comments about her own personal feelings regarding the affair.

But in her 2003 memoir "Living History," she wrote, "I didn't know whether our marriage could - or should - survive such a stinging betrayal, but I knew I had to work through my feelings carefully, on my own timetable," calling the decision to stay with Clinton one of "the most difficult decisions I have made in my life."

2009: Hillary returned to the White House as Secretary of State to then-president Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton Barack Obama  

After Barack Obama's historic win in the 2008 presidential election, Hillary Clinton returned to the White House nearly a decade after she left it, but this time in a new role.

Obama appointed Clinton as his Secretary of State following her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

2014: The Clintons became first-time grandparents when their daughter gave birth to her first child, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  

In 2014, the Clintons became grandparents for the first time as their only daughter welcomed her first child, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, into the world.

Both the former president and secretary of state tweeted the news, with Bill addressing Charlotte directly in an endearing tweet, and Hillary expressing her excitement over her new grandma status.

2015: They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary just before a Democratic primary debate.

hillary bill clinton
hillary bill clinton  

In 2015, the Clintons celebrated and prepared for two major milestones in their relationship - their 40th anniversary on October 11 and the first Democratic debate of Hillary's presidential run on October 13.

2016: Just before the presidential election, they became grandparents again to Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky.

Hilary Bill clinton
Hilary Bill clinton  

Five months before the 2016 presidential election, Hillary and Bill became grandparents the second time over when their daughter Chelsea gave birth to her son, Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky.

Both Hillary and Bill tweeted their happy sentiments, with Hillary saying, "What a joy being with our new grandson, Aidan. So grateful. -H." and Bill writing, "Aidan has made two dads very happy this Father's Day. Hillary and I are thrilled for Marc and Chelsea!" according to CNN.

2016: Hillary lost the presidential election, conceding to Donald Trump.

Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  

After her loss in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary detailed the moments following her concession, writing in her third memoir "What Happened," that she laid in bed after she conceded to Trump and "stared at the ceiling," according to CNN.

She wrote of her husband's consolation, saying, "Bill took my hand, and we just lay there."

2016: The family then retreated to their Chappaqua home for some downtime post-election.

Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton  

Just days after her loss, the Clintons settled back into her Chappaqua and laid decidedly low, with a viral tweet showing Hillary exploring the scenery of Chappaqua with her dog.

She told NPR in an interview that she often takes walks with her husband, saying, "... I had a lot to think about. And I think well when I'm walking. I sort of clear my mind."

September 2017: Hillary's memoir, "What Happened" featured a tribute to Bill.

Hillary Clinton Bill
Hillary Clinton Bill  

Hillary released her third memoir, "What Happened," in September of 2017, which reflects on her election journey, career, and personal life in candor.

She included a sentimental ode to Bill in her book, reflecting on the high points of their 40-plus years together, saying, "He has been my partner in life and my greatest champion since the moment we met."

October 2018: The couple announced a joint speaking tour.

Hillary Bill Clinton
Hillary Bill Clinton  

Bill and Hillary Clinton announced they would be embarking on a speaking tour throughout the United States and Canada starting in November 2018, according to the Washington Post.

The engagements are marketed as "An Evening with the Clintons" and will focus on the 2016 election and pivotal moments from the Clintons' careers.

December 2018: They postponed a tour appearance in Sugar Land, Texas, to attend George H.W. Bush's funeral.

George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush's funeral  

Following the passing of former President George H.W. Bush, the Clintons postponed their appearance in Sugar Land, Texas, to attend Bush's funeral services in Washington, DC.

Hillary made the announcement via Twitter, saying, "Bill and I will be traveling to Washington to pay our respects to President George H.W. Bush and his family at the funeral this week. We were greatly looking forward to being in Houston for our event this week, and are excited to come back next year as soon as we find a date."

July 2019: The couple welcomed their third grandchild.

Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton  

Chelsea Clinton welcomed her third child, Jasper Clinton Mezvinsky, in July 2019.

This is Bill and Hillary's third grandchild, and Hillary tweeted that she and Bill were "thrilled."

January 2021: The pair attended Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.

hillary bill clinton president biden inauguration
hillary bill clinton president biden inauguration  

The couple attended Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021.

Other former presidents and their partners - George and Laura Bush, Barack and Michelle Obama - were also in attendance.

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