As Hillary Clinton celebrates her 65th birthday, a look back at her Sixties college style in candid unpublished photographs
Long before the scrunchies, and constant critiquing of her various political hair styles, Hillary Rodham Clinton was a Sixties college graduate wearing striped pants and John Lennon-style glasses.
Today marks her 65th birthday, and to commemorate, LIFE magazine has released a series of previously unpublished black and white images of a then 22-year-old Miss Rodham, taken by Lee Balterman at her suburban Park Ridge, Illinois, home in the summer of 1969.
The candid photographs of the current U.S. Secretary of State, former First Lady, and champion of women worldwide, were taken less than two weeks after she graduated, where she first attracted national attention for her remarks as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College.
Young graduate: Celebrating Hillary Clinton’s 65th birthday, a series of previously unpublished black and white images of a then 22-year-old Miss Rodham show her right after she graduated from Wellesley College
The seven-minute speech she delivered received a standing ovation thanks her quick witted response (and deviation from her prepared speech), in criticizing Senator Edward Brooke who had spoken before her at the commencement.
She was subsequently featured in the 1969 June 20 issue of LIFE, where only one of Mr Balterman’s informal Sixties images was published.
In the photographer’s handwritten note that accompanied the pictures, Mr Balterman wrote: ‘Had to go for nothing more than informal portraits, but should be some good expressions & hand gestures, etc… Her glasses helped.’
As the eldest overachieving daughter of politically conservative parents from Chicago’s suburban Park Ridge, she became heavily influenced by the assassinations of Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., during her college years.
She joined the Democratic Party, volunteering in the presidential campaign of antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy.
Outtakes: Wearing striped pants and holding a pair of John Lennon-style glasses, only one of Mrs Clinton’s informal Sixties images ran in the LIFE’s 1969 June 20 issue
Making waves: The black and white images were taken two weeks after the recent graduate first attracted national attention for her remarks as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College in 1969
Now, 43 years after these images were taken, the 67th U.S. Secretary of State has built a career full of firsts, setting numerous records while promoting the empowerment of American women.
The beginning of her publicly political life began when she first met her husband and future U.S. president in 1970 during a civil liberties class at Yale Law School.
According to Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin, in their book, Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples, a then 23-year-old Mrs Clinton said to him : ‘If you’re going to keep looking at me and I’m going to keep looking at you, we ought to at least know each other. I’m Hillary Rodham.’
Five years later, the couple married on October 11, 1975 in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the brick home that Mr Clinton purchased for the two of them.
The 28-year-old bride wore a dress designed by Jessica McClintock that she hurriedly purchased at Dillard’s department store.
Happy birthday Hillary: Today marks the 65th birthday of the U.S. Secretary of State, former First Lady, and champion of women worldwide, Hillary Rodham Clinton
During their relationship, she had embarked on a career in law after receiving her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973, and while living in Arkansas she became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978.
She was then named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979 – twice listed as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America.
As wife of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton, she entered the White House in 1993 as the first First Lady to hold a postgraduate degree, and also the first to hold a career prior.
In 1994, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. However, in 1997 and 1999, she advocated the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act.
It’s in the genes A 65-year-old Hillary Rodham Clinton (left) and her 32-year-old daughter, Chelsea (right)
One of her most memorable speeches came in 1997, when she said: ‘There cannot be true democracy unless women’s voices are heard.
‘There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives.
‘There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country.’
After her eight year term as First Lady, she moved to New York, and was elected as a U.S. Senator in 2000. The election marked the first time an American First Lady had run for public office, and Mrs Clinton was also the first female senator to represent the state.
Funny face: Long before the now ubiquitous ‘texts from’ meme and scrunchie-themed misgivings, it seems Mrs Clinton’s vivacious personality was well in tact
Bright future: And long before Yale Law, living in Arkansas, marrying Bill Clinton, the White House, and her own run for president, Mrs Clinton was just a 22-year-old recent graduate with plenty of dreams
In the 2008 presidential election, Mrs Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, winning more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history.
She narrowly lost to then Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who after wining the election, appointed Mrs Clinton as Secretary of State.
She became the first former First Lady to serve in a president’s cabinet and has since set records for most-travelled secretary in office, championing much more than ‘texts from’ memes and scrunchie debates.
Young love: Bill and Hillary Clinton at Wellesley College in 1969 when she was an undergraduate student
Family: The US Secretary of State applauds her husband, former president Bill Clinton, at a ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department in Washington in 2009 with their daughter
Like mother, like daughter: Ms Clinton on the campaign trail with her mother, then the Democratic presidential hopeful in 2008
She has continued to do well in the annual Gallup poll, conducted nearly every year since 1948, for the most admired man and woman.
In 2011 Mrs Clinton was named the most admired woman by Americans for the tenth straight time, and 16th time overall.
As she told Elle magazine in April this year: ‘There’s a certain consistency to who I am and what I do, and I think people have finally said, “Well, you know, I kinda get her now.”‘