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Bill Clinton: Role of the US in the World

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Senator Edward Kennedy introduces President Clinton, who engages in a wide-ranging conversation with presidential historian Michael Beschloss. President Clinton reflects upon his own legacy and the central themes related to President Kennedy including the role of the US in the world, domestic issues concerning the advancement of rights and opportunities for all Americans, and the importance of public service.

President Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III 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 the family name. Clinton was graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and entered politics in Arkansas. Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and won the governorship in 1978. After losing a bid for a second term, he regained the office four years later, and served until he defeated incumbent George Bush and third party candidate Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential race.
Michael Beschloss is an American historian. A specialist in the United States presidency, he is the author of nine books. Beschloss was born in Chicago, grew up in Flossmoor, Illinois and was educated at Eaglebrook School, Andover, Williams College and Harvard University. He majored in political science, working under James MacGregor Burns at Williams, from which he was graduated with Highest Honors, and earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, with the original intention of writing history while serving as a foundation executive. Beschloss is a regular commentator on* The NewsHour* with Jim Lehrer on PBS and is the *NBC News* Presidential Historian. He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and he also sits on the boards of the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. He received an Emmy in 2005 for the Discovery Channel's "Decisions That Shook the World." He has also received the State of Illinois's Order of Lincoln, the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award, the Ambassador Book Prize and the New York State Archives History Award. He has received honorary doctorates from Lafayette College, Williams College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Saint Peter's College and Governors State University.