Chelsea Clinton Biography (1980-)

Public figure. Born February 27, 1980, in Little Rock, Arkansas, got her name from the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning.” At the time of her birth, father William Jefferson Clinton was serving his first term in office as the governor of Arkansas. Chelsea’s mother, attorney Hillary Rodham Clinton, was a partner at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. Despite their hectic schedules, the Clintons made their only child the center of their busy lives. Chelsea’s father kept a small desk for his daughter in his office and had breakfast with her every morning. Hillary interrupted her schedule to talk to Chelsea when she came home from school, helped out on class field trips, and frequently left loving messages at Forest Park Elementary School for Chelsea while she was away on business.

Determined to foster independence and intellectual curiosity, the Clintons often pushed Chelsea hard to succeed. The precocious girl began studying ballet at the age of 4, skipped the third grade, and learned how to invest in the stock market when she was barely 11. After reading an article in a life sciences class that discussed the detrimental effects red meat has on the body, Chelsea also became a strict vegetarian.

But Chelsea, who was used to being shielded from her parents’ very public jobs, experienced a huge life change in 1993, when her father was elected the 42nd President of the United States. As the pre-teen child of the new First Family, Chelsea experienced intense media scrutiny. Entering an awkward, adolescent phase of her life didn’t help matters, and the young Clinton often endured jokes about her appearance. As a result of the intense publicity, the Clintons developed an unspoken pact with the press that Chelsea was strictly off limits.

Outside of the White House, Chelsea parents encouraged her to live as normal a life as possible. She attended Sidwell Friends School, where she excelled in history and science, and began taking ballet courses at the Washington School of Ballet. During her teenage years, she was so active and involved—pursuing a role in the Model United Nations, practicing for theatre and ballet performances, and even attending math camp—that she reportedly earned the Secret Service code name “Energy.” In April 1995, Chelsea made what some called a “debut” to the national media, when she joined her mother on a tour of India. The press gave her positive reviews, and made special note of her intelligence and compassion.

In 1997, Chelsea made the decision to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, with the intention of studying pre-med. Now an adult, she became a frequent topic in the press, who made headlines out of her romantic relationships with fellow student Matthew Pierce, as well as former White House intern Jeremy Kane. In addition to this pressure, her sophomore year was fraught with complications from the news of her father’s affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. It was during this time that she brought the family together, both publicly and privately. According to her mother’s memoirs, Chelsea was present during the meeting in which her father and his advisers debated how to acknowledge his affair with the nation. When her parents were first seen together again after the news, Chelsea was there as well, symbolically clasping the hands of both parents in public.

While navigating these tricky social matters, Clinton also managed a rigorous school schedule. In her junior year, Clinton changed her major from medicine to history and began work on her thesis project: the Northern Ireland peace process (for which she interviewed, among other sources, her father). After delivering her 167-page thesis, Clinton headed to Oxford University in England to pursue a master’s degree in International Relations.

In 2003, after graduation, Clinton joined the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York City, becoming the youngest person in her class to be hired. After three years with the firm, she joined the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group.

After a year of campaigning for her mother’s 2008 presidential bid, Chelsea decided to explore new avenues in her personal and professional life. In November 2009, Clinton announced that she and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky were engaged to be married. Mezvinsky, who was a longtime friend, fellow Stanford alum, and son of two former members of Congress, proposed over the Thanksgiving holiday. The next month, Clinton returned to school, this time studying health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In addition to her studies, Clinton serves on the board of the School of American Ballet and has also served as co-chairperson for her father’s Clinton Foundation.

Frantic final preparations are taking place in Rhinebeck, New York, on Friday as former First Daughter prepares to wed fiancé, investment banker and childhood friend Marc Mezvinsky. As guests began arriving at Gramere Estate Thursday evening, security began to tighten around the tiny town upstate. In addition to the standard Secret Service detail, the state police have begun to close roads and the FAA has closed airspace around the Rhinebeck area for 12 hours around the time of the .

Citizens and businesses around Rhinebeck have been sworn to secrecy as to any plans involving the nuptials, but in addition to Chelsea’s high-profile parents guests are said to include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and Terry McAuliffe. One person definitely left off the invite list: President Barack Obama. “You don’t want two presidents at one wedding! All the secret service, guests going through (metal detectors), all the gifts being torn apart &” Obama joked in his interview this week on The View. “I was not invited to the wedding because I think Hillary and Bill, properly, want to keep this thing for Chelsea and her soon-to-be husband.”

The Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding will take place at the exclusive Astor Courts estate, and is estimated to cost at least $2 million.

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