A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham first attracted national attention in 1969 for her remarks as the first student to deliver the commencement address at Wellesley College. She embarked on a career in law after graduating from Yale Law School in 1973. Following a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas in 1974 and married Bill Clinton in 1975. In 1977, Rodham co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In 1978, she became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation, having been appointed by President Jimmy Carter. She was later named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979, and was twice listed as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America. She was the First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992 and successfully led a task force to reform Arkansas's education system. She was active in a number of organizations concerned with child welfare, as well as sitting on the boards of Wal-Mart and several other corporations.
When she was First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress in 1994. In 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a role in advocating for the establishment of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her time as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. She became the only First Lady to be subpoenaed, testifying before a federal grand jury as a consequence of the Whitewater controversy in 1996. She was never charged with any wrongdoing in this or any of the several other investigations during her husband's administration. The state of her marriage to Bill Clinton was the subject of considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal in 1998.
After moving to New York, Clinton was elected as senator for New York State in 2000. That election marked the first time an American First Lady had run for public office; Clinton was also the first female senator to represent New York. In the Senate, she initially supported the George W. Bush administration on some foreign policy issues, which included voting for the Iraq War Resolution. She subsequently opposed the administration on its conduct of the war in Iraq, and opposed it on most domestic issues. She was re-elected by a wide margin in 2006. In the 2008 presidential nomination race, Clinton won more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but she narrowly lost to Senator Barack Obama. As Obama's Secretary of State, Clinton is the first former First Lady to serve in a president's cabinet.
Hillary Clinton won the nomination for the Democratic party nominee in the 2016 elections against Senator Bernie Sanders. She was widely regarded as the conservative candidate in the Democratic primaries, albeit much farther to the left on the spectrum than her opponents, especially Republican nominee Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Pollsters predicted she was the most likely candidate to win the 2016 presidential election, however she managed lost in a sudden upset on election night. There is speculation that this loss may signal an end to her political career.