Hillary Clinton ChildhoodSecretary Clinton grew up in a close-knit household and spent the first 17 odd years of her life in a two-story brick house near Elm and Wisner in Park Ridge, Illinois. In 1997, the city renamed the area surrounding the house “Rodham Corner”.
Hillary ClintonShe attended Eugene Field Elementary School (1953-1957), Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School (1957-1961), Maine East High School (1961-1964) and Maine South High (1964-65). At Maine East, she was elected class president and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was also a member of the school debate team and student council. At Maine South, she was designated as a National Merit Scholar and was voted as the "girl most likely to succeed" by her classmates.
Her interest in politics was kindled at an early age by spirited dinner debates between her staunchly conservative Goldwater Republican father, Democrat mother, two younger siblings, relatives and family friends. In her memoir, Living History, Secretary Clinton wrote that by the time she was twelve, she had her own positions on many issues, and that a “person was not necessarily bad just because you did not agree with him.”
Her interest in politics finally manifested into the real world at 13 when she volunteered to help a Republican canvassing initiative in Chicago’s South Side. A few years later, she signed up to become a volunteer for the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign.
Her involvement in politics did not affect her school life, where she was popular with both students and teachers. She was also active softball and swimming, and was involved with the school newspaper.
The Girl Scout and Brownie was equally active with neighborhood social activities. She organized food drives, backyard carnivals and cookie drives for charity, participated in parade preparations for Fourth of July festivities, and even organized a mock Olympics.
Her political universe suddenly became immensely more complicated after listening to a speech of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1962, which prompted her to reevaluate her opinions about social justice, the Vietnam War and civil rights.
In 1965, Secretary Clinton left home to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts.