Hugh Rodham, first lady's father, dies

April 08, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Hugh Rodham, 82, father of first lady Hillar Rodham Clinton, died last night in Little Rock, Ark., three weeks after a debilitating stroke.

President and Mrs. Clinton were to fly to Little Rock today, the White House said.

Mr. Rodham was a former salesman who built his own small textile business. For 30 years, he mostly made draperies.

Mr. Rodham was a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he studied physical education. During World War II, he trained sailors in something called the Gene Tunney Program -- a kind of boot camp -- before they shipped out.

A biographer of Mr. Rodham's daughter described the father as "a man whose business occupied most of his waking hours" but was "in his own reserved way as great a supporter of his daughter's prodigious skills. . . . "

In the same biography, author Judith Warner wrote of Hugh Rodham that his "style lay in fostering a pragmatic competitiveness. Without putting his daughter down, he let her know that there was always much more to be achieved."

Mrs. Clinton said that the encouragement she received from her parents was tempered with her father's realism.

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