Friday, January 11, 2008

Hillary, Not as in the Mount Everest Guy

Sir Edmund Hillary's death this past week calls to mind this example of Senator Clinton's lack of veracity...

For more than a decade, one piece of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s informal biography has been that she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest. The story was even recounted in Bill Clinton’s autobiography.

But yesterday, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said she was not named for Sir Edmund after all.

In May 1953, Sir Edmund and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1995, shortly after meeting Sir Edmund, Mrs. Clinton said that her mother, Dorothy Rodham, had long told her she was named for the famous mountaineer.

“It had two l’s, which is how she thought she was supposed to spell Hillary,” Mrs. Clinton said at the time, after meeting Sir Edmund. “So when I was born, she called me Hillary, and she always told me it’s because of Sir Edmund Hillary.”
But one big hole has been poked in the story over the years, both in cyberspace and elsewhere: Sir Edmund became famous only after climbing Everest in 1953. Mrs. Clinton, as it happens, was born in 1947.


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