Roger Clinton Sr.

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Roger Clinton Sr.
Roger Clinton

(1908-07-23)July 23, 1908
DiedNovember 8, 1967(1967-11-08) (aged 59)
OccupationCar salesman
Known forFirst stepfather of Bill Clinton
  • Ina Mae Murphy
    (m. 1933; div. 1949)
  • (m. 1950; div. 1962)

    (m. 1962)
ChildrenRoger Clinton Jr.
RelativesChelsea Clinton (step-granddaughter)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (step-daughter-in-law)

Roger Clinton Sr. (July 23, 1908 – November 8, 1967) was an American car salesman. He was the first stepfather of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.[1]

Early life[edit]

Roger Clinton was born in Yell County, Arkansas, the son of Allen W. Clinton (August 26, 1880 – June 14, 1965) and Eula Cornwell (May 29, 1882 – October 10, 1975).[2] Clinton was an owner of the local Buick dealership,[3] and "a handsome, hell-raising, twice-divorced man from Hot Springs, Arkansas".[3] In 1950 he married Virginia Blythe, mother of the future president, whose first husband had died in a car crash in 1946, three months before the birth of their son Bill. Roger Clinton and his family lived at the south end of Hope.[4] Eventually Clinton sold the Buick dealership and moved, with his family, to a four hundred-acre farm a few miles west of Hot Springs.[5] After a year or so on the farm, around 1955,[6] they moved into Hot Springs. In 1956, he and Virginia had their only child, Roger Clinton Jr., in Hot Springs.[7] Roger and Virginia divorced in 1962, but remarried a few months later, after which his stepson took the surname Clinton.[8] Roger Clinton was referred to as "Daddy" in Bill Clinton's presidential memoir My Life.

Personal life[edit]

Though Bill loved his stepfather, Roger's alcoholism and subsequent abuse of his mother and half-brother would lead to Bill's intervening on numerous occasions with physical force, each time resulting in his stepfather's arrest.[9] Clinton was eventually reconciled with his stepson when Bill Clinton drove down from Georgetown on weekends to visit him at the Duke Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina after he became ill.[10] Roger's illness recurred later in the fall of 1967.[11] After a period in the hospital, he requested to come home to die.[11] Roger Clinton died of cancer[11] aged 59 in 1967.


  1. ^ My Life, Bill Clinton, Random House, 2004, ISBN 0-375-41457-6.
  2. ^ US Census, 1910, Yell County, Arkansas.
  3. ^ a b My Life, Three, p. 17.
  4. ^ My Life, Three, p. 18.
  5. ^ My Life, Four, p. 22.
  6. ^ My Life, Four, p. 33.
  7. ^ My Life, Five.
  8. ^ This was for some reason his stepson, he himself, is not sure exactly. One of the reasons was that his stepson wanted that he and his brother would have the same last name in school. He wrote, in My Life, "Maybe I even wanted to do something nice for Daddy". (My Life, Six, p. 52).
  9. ^ CBS News: "Bill Clinton: his life", February 11, 2009. Accessed 10 December 2012
  10. ^ My Life, Eleven, p. 105.
  11. ^ a b c My Life, Thirteen, pp. 112–113.