bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Hillary Clinton named after an unknown beekeeper?

Edmund Hillary was a beekeeper before he conquered Mount Everest. And where did I see this little nugget of information? In an article about Hillary Clinton and her occasional tussles with the truth:
Take an apparently innocuous example: her [Hillary Clinton's] nutty claim that her mother named her after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest.

Meeting Sir Edmund by chance at the Katmandu airport, Hillary apparently made up the story on the spot, telling reporters she was named after the intrepid explorer. To bolster her claim, she piled on the details: While her mother was pregnant, Hillary extemporized, she had read an article about Sir Edmund and noticed that he spelled his name with two l's - “which,” the first lady said, is how her mother “thought she was supposed to spell Hillary.”

She continued: “So when I was born, she called me Hillary, and she always told me it's because of Sir Edmund Hillary.”

But Sir Edmund didn't climb Everest until May 29, 1953 - 5 1/2 years after Hillary Rodham was born. In fact, until 1951 Sir Edmund Hillary hadn't even left New Zealand for his climb in the Himalayas. Before that, he was an unknown beekeeper.
New York Post
Update 25 November 2004: If you are hesitant to trust the New York Post as a source, there's a very fair assessment on