Vince Foster, Bill Clinton's Childhood Friend, Died By Suicide in July 1993

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Sep. 8 2021, Published 9:07 a.m. ET

Starring Beanie Feldstein, Sterling K. Brown, and Sarah Paulson, Season 3 of American Crime Story takes a look at the sex scandal that led to former U.S. President Bill Clinton's impeachment on Dec. 19, 1998.

Based on Jeffrey Toobin's 1999 book, A Vast Conspiracy, Season 3 of American Crime Story charts Monica Lewinsky's transformation from an unpaid intern into one of the most scorned women in history. How does Vince Foster come into the picture?

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Vince Foster was Bill Clinton's childhood friend and personal lawyer.

Born on Jan. 15, 1945, in Hope, Ark., Vince Foster was one of Bill's childhood friends. They went to the same kindergarten. Bill moved to Hot Springs, Ark., following his mother's marriage to Roger Clinton Sr. (His father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr., died a few months before Bill was born.) Bill attended elementary school in Hot Springs, Ark, but he stayed in touch with Vince.

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Vince received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas in 1971, passing the bar exam with the highest score in his class. He joined Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Ark., the same year, where he quickly earned renown for his meticulous preparation process.

Vince is often credited as the lawyer who helped hire Hillary Clinton, a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School, in 1977. She, later on, became the first female partner to work at the firm.

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Hillary and Bill started dating in 1971. Bill arrived at the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1973. Hillary then started teaching. They married in 1975.

"I finally got her to come visit me in Arkansas, and when she did, the people at the law school were so impressed they offered her a teaching position," Bill once remarked, per CNN.

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There's no shortage of conspiracy theories about the Clintons' involvement in Vince Foster's 1993 death.

A successful attorney, Vince moved to Washington D.C. in 1993 to join Bill's transition team as a Deputy White House Counsel. Despite his unmatched success at Rose Law Firm, he struggled to make the switch and make the most of his new appointment. His name became associated with "Travelgate," an ethics controversy triggered by the Travel Office's use of monetary funds.

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Vince died in Fort Marcy Park, Fairfax County, Va., on July 20, 1993. The cause of death was a gunshot wound. Although some believe he was killed, the tragedy was ruled as suicide. Donald Trump famously said that Vince's death was "very fishy" during the 2016 election.

"I don't bring it up because I don't know enough to really discuss it," Trump said, per The Washington Post. "I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don't do that because I don't think it's fair."

"I think Vince felt he was a failure," Vince's sister, Sheila Foster Anthony, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2016. "He was so ill, he couldn't see a way out."

Catch new episodes of Impeachment: American Crime Story every Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST on FX.

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