We first met Chelsea Clinton in the early ’90s when she was a curly-haired teenager with braces. America watched her grow up throughout her father’s eight-year presidency and she emerged from the scandal-plagued administration relatively unscathed, a private citizen who was once seen as having a political future herself. With her mother Hillary Clinton’s second bid for the White House, she relished jumping back into the political fray, tirelessly campaigning around the country and, if the WikiLeaks emails are to be believed, even acting as the defender in chief of her parents’ interests.
Now, after Tuesday, she may be First Daughter all over again.
Despite being the first First Daughter to have a third term in the White House, the younger Clinton remains a relatively private figure at the age of 36. But lest we forget that she sat front row at a Donatella Versace fashion show in 2002, rubbed shoulders with everyone from Ivanka Trump to Gwyneth Paltrow to Prince William and Kate Middleton, and is a Madonna fan, just like us.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton was named after the Joni Mitchell song, “Chelsea Morning,” which was written in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. She lived a relatively normal adolescence in the White House, all things considered, and had sleepovers with her friends, quit softball and soccer to concentrate on dance, and spent summers wearing bucket hats on Block Island.
Education was always Clinton’s passion, and she excelled early on in school, even skipping the third grade. After graduating from a private high school in Washington, D.C., she then went on to major in history at Stanford University. It’s reported that on move-in day, her parents showed up with a full motorcade (and 250 journalists) to help her load boxes into a dorm room outfitted with bulletproof glass windows. Members of the Secret Service also posed as students during her four years at the school, so one would imagine that her college experience was far from ordinary. (Another fun fact: Clinton’s Secret Service codename was “Energy.”) But before the start of her freshman year, her mother penned an open letter urging the press to leave her daughter alone during her time at Stanford, and she actually remained relatively unbothered as a result.
After graduating from Stanford in 2001, Clinton went on to get a Master’s in International Relations from Oxford, plus a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. Oh, and she got a Doctorate in International Relations from Oxford, too, because one degree wasn’t enough from the world’s top institution.
It was while studying in London that Clinton decided to attend fashion week and step out into the social scene. The New York Times wrote in 2002: “It appears that Ms. Clinton, 22, who spent the years of her father’s presidency leading a very private (and possibly slightly embarrassed) life, has blossomed into someone who does not mind the limelight and certainly does not mind having a good time.”
In 2003, Clinton attempted to enter the workforce by joining the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York City, followed by the Avenue Capital Group in late 2006. Then, in 2011 NBC announced that they hired Clinton as a special correspondent, which was a surprising role for not only the president’s daughter, but also someone so previously opposed to the press. But she stuck it out until 2014, when she left to write her first book: It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going!, which is a 400-page call-to-action for middle school-aged children. She now dedicates all her professional energy into the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.
A Tribute to Chelsea Clinton, History’s First First Daughter Thrice Over (Probably)
Hillary and Chelsea Clinton cheering for Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.
Chelsea at the airport, seeing off her dad in 1992.
A father and daughter shopping spree to a bookstore (with the Secret Service) in 1993.
Hillary Clinton helps her daughter, who was on crutches during the 1992 televised Presidential Debate.
Chelsea during soccer practice in 1993 in Washington, DC.
Chelsea videotapes the inaugural festivities in 1993 at the Lincoln Memorial.
Bill Clinton and Chelsea join singers Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in the song ‘We are the world’ on January 17, 1993 at the Lincoln Memorial.
Hillary Clinton and Chelsea visited the Taj Mahal during a break in the first lady’s 12-day tour of South Asia in 1995.
Chelsea, who wore a fuzzy bucket hat, and her friend Rebecca Kolsky greeted the crowd on Block Island in the summer of 1997.
Chelsea goes for a bike ride in tie-dye on the grounds of the Governor’s mansion.
At the age of 17, Chelsea performed for her parents and others in the annual spring performance of the young dancers of the Washington Ballet. It was her last performance with the group before attending Stanford University that fall.
Chelsea after her high school graduation from Sidwell Friends School in 1997.
Bill Clinton dances with his daughter at the inaugural ball in 1997.
Chelsea at her Stanford University graduation ceremony in 2001.
Chelsea Clinton wed Marc Mezvinsky at the Astor Courts Estate on in the summer of 2010 in Rhinebeck, New York.
Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky at the 2013 Costume Institute Gala for the “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton attended the 2014 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall in 2014.
Kate and Prince William hung out with Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky in 2014 in New York City.
A very pregnant Chelsea attended the Clinton Global Initiative’s 10th Annual Meeting in 2014.
Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky was born in September 2014, and here, Chelsea and her husband welcomed their son, Aidan into the world in June 2016.
As for her personal life, Clinton married investment banker and hedge fund founder Marc Mezvinsky in the summer of 2010. The two first met as teenagers – Mezvinsky also studied at both Stanford and Oxford – but the they didn’t start officially dating until 2005.
Clinton and Mezvinsky have two children together: Charlotte, who is two-years-old, and Aidan, who was born in June. The four of them live in a $10.5 million apartment in Madison Square Park. So, really, who needs the White House?
A lot has changed since Clinton was last America’s First Daughter. But despite many highs and lows both personally and professionally, she’s managed to keep her head screwed on straight. It’ll be telling to see what projects she takes on if her mother wins the election and while it’s impossible to say whether or not she’ll follow in both her parent’s footsteps, one thing is for certain: Her friendship with Ivanka Trump is toast.