Clintons Stay At Dorothy Rodham's Sickbed Late Into The Night [UPDATE]
UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. -- The Clinton family announced in a statement that Dorothy Rodham died early Tuesday morning. The full statement appears below.
WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent much of Monday night together at George Washington University Hospital, where Sec. Clinton's mother, Dorothy Rodham, is being treated for an undisclosed illness.
Mrs. Rodham, 92, reportedly fell ill earlier in the day on Monday, prompting the secretary to cancel a planned trip to London, Turkey and Afghanistan. In her place, the White House announced that Vice President Joe Biden will address a London cyberspace meeting Tuesday via teleconference.
The former president and the secretary left the hospital shortly before 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, walking out a side door together accompanied by a half-dozen staffers.
Mrs. Rodham is a constant presence in her daughter's life, despite her low public profile. Since 2006, she has lived at the Clintons' Kalorama home, where Secretary Clinton spends much of her time.
When asked to describe her most defining moment, Clinton said in 2007, "I owe it to my mother, who never got a chance to go to college, who had a very difficult childhood, but who gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to."
Dorothy Rodham was born and raised in Chicago, but she left home at 14 to work as a nanny. In Clinton's 2003 autobiography, "Living History," the secretary of state said of her mother, "I'm still amazed at how [she] emerged from her lonely early life as such an affectionate and level-headed woman."
While Clinton attended to her mother in the hospital on Monday night, a chaotic and violent scene was unfolding in the street below, as hundreds of young people fled a Halloween-night shooting in nearby Georgetown. Fights broke out at the Foggy-Bottom-GWU Metrorail station adjacent to the hospital, and at approximately 11:15 p.m., while Clinton was upstairs, law enforcement officials used pepper spray to help disperse the crowds.
Statement from the Clinton Family on the Passing of Dorothy Rodham
Dorothy Howell Rodham was born in Chicago on June 4, 1919 and died shortly after midnight on November 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C., surrounded by her family. Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself. She overcame abandonment and hardship as a young girl to become the remarkable woman she was – a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke; an extraordinary friend and, most of all, a loving wife, mother and grandmother.
Dorothy is and always will be lovingly remembered by her daughter and son-in-law, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton; her sons and daughters-in-law, Hugh Rodham and Maria Rodham and Tony Rodham and Megan Rodham; her grandchildren, Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, Zachary Rodham, Fiona Rodham and Simon Rodham. She leaves behind many friends from all stages and places in her life, friends from California she met in high school, friends from Little Rock and Washington with whom she explored the world, the people who were first her doctors and then became her friends at George Washington Hospital, to the people she met through her children and grandchildren who became as much her friend as theirs.
To honor Dorothy, her family will hold a private celebration of her life for family and friends. In lieu of flowers and in line with what Dorothy would have wanted, the family have asked that any one who would want to do so would make a donation in Dorothy’s memory to George Washington Hospital (http://www.gwhospital.com/Donations) where she received excellent care and made terrific friends over many years; to the Heifer Project (http://www.heifer.org/), her Christmas gift of choice in 2010 and an organization dear to her heart; or to a local organization meaningful to the giver that helps neglected and mistreated children, a blight Dorothy was determined to remedy until her last day because she knew too well the pain too many children suffer. Her family is and will be forever grateful for the gift of Dorothy’s life and for the memories they will treasure forever.