|Birth Day:||January 15, 1945|
|Death Date:||Jul 20, 1993 (age 48)|
While holding the position of Deputy White House Counsel during the first presidential administration of Bill Clinton, Foster fell into a deep depression and tragically committed suicide at the age of forty-eight.
As per our current Database, Vince Foster died on Jul 20, 1993 (age 48).
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Vince Foster attended law school at both Vanderbilt University and the University of Arkansas, graduating as the valedictorian of his class at the latter school. In the early 1970s, Vince Foster became a partner at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm.
Vincent was a childhood friend of Bill Clinton, then known as Billy Blythe. Clinton, a year and a half younger than Foster, resided in an adjoining property to Foster's with his grandparents while his mother was often away studying nursing. Clinton later recalled, "I lived with my grandparents in a modest little house across from Vince Foster's nice, big, white brick house." Another Clinton recollection was that Foster "was kind to me and never lorded it over me the way so many older boys did with younger ones." Another childhood friend was Mack McLarty, who would one day become White House Chief of Staff for Clinton. In 1950, Clinton's mother remarried and they relocated to a different part of Hope. By several accounts, Foster and Clinton attended Miss Marie Purkins' School for Little Folks together, a private kindergarten, although Foster was a year ahead in school. Then, around late 1952, the Clintons moved away to Hot Springs. However, Clinton would often return to visit his grandparents in Hope during summers, weekends, and holidays and he maintained connections with the people there.
Foster excelled as a student and athlete. At Hope High School, he became president of the student council, with McLarty serving as vice president. He graduated Hope High School in 1963.
Foster attended Davidson College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1967. His father wanted him to join the family real estate business, but instead, he opted to attend law school.
Foster met Elizabeth Braden, known as Lisa, during his sophomore year at Davidson; she was the daughter of an insurance broker from Nashville and was attending Sweet Briar College. They married on April 20, 1968, at St. Henry Catholic Church in Nashville. They had three children: Vincent III, Laura, and John.
After starting at Vanderbilt University Law School, he joined the Arkansas National Guard during the height of the Vietnam War to avoid the military draft. To be closer to his guard responsibilities, he transferred to the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he was managing editor of the law review. He received his Juris Doctor in 1971, graduating first in his class. He scored the highest in his class on the Arkansas bar exam.
In 1971, Foster joined Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, and in 1974 was made partner, one of only nine in the firm at the time. He was the head of the Arkansas Bar Association committee that oversaw legal aid, and as such worked with legal aid clinic worker Hillary Rodham in successfully overcoming an unreasonable measuring requirement for indigent clients. Foster then initiated the hiring of Rodham at Rose Law Firm, where she became its first ever female associate (and later first female partner); Foster and fellow partner Webster Hubbell were instrumental in overcoming the reluctance of other partners to hire a woman. Foster and Rodham worked together on a number of cases. And as Bill Clinton's political career gained force, Foster supported him. They were also personal friends and Foster was the one who taught their daughter Chelsea Clinton how to swim.
By 1992, Vince Foster was, as The Washington Post later wrote, at "the pinnacle of the Arkansas legal establishment." He was also an established figure in Little Rock society, serving as the chair of the board of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and belonging to the exclusive Country Club of Little Rock.
After Clinton's 1992 election, Foster joined Clinton's presidential transition team. Once Clinton was inaugurated, Foster joined his White House staff as Deputy White House Counsel in early 1993. This was despite Foster's initial reluctance to leave his Little Rock life behind and come to Washington. There he worked under the White House Counsel, Bernard W. Nussbaum, although Nussbaum would consider the pair to be "co-senior partners". He was also joined with two other Rose Law Firm partners, William H. Kennedy, III, who served as his associate counsel, and Webster Hubbell, who became Associate Attorney General. The Foster residence was a small rented house in Georgetown in Washington, D.C.
He appeared to experience only success at Rose Law; a partner later said, "I never saw a professional setback. Never. Not even a tiny one." The firm grew five times its size during his time there. The Arkansas Bar Association gave him a number of awards and in June 1993 would name him as its Outstanding Lawyer of the Year. He was also listed in the Best Lawyers in America book. His wife Lisa described him as driven to prevail, staying up around the clock to prepare for big cases, believing he would lose the case even though he rarely did; she later viewed this as an early sign of depressed behavior.
On May 8, 1993, Foster gave the commencement address at the University of Arkansas Law School, his alma mater, and said:
1. The first investigation was conducted by the United States Park Police, in whose jurisdiction the death occurred, in 1993. Because of Foster's position in the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation, as did several other state and federal agencies. The result of this investigation was released as a joint report from the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Park Police on August 10, 1993, and it stated: "The condition of the scene, the medical examiner's findings and the information gathered clearly indicate that Mr. Foster committed suicide."
Beginning in 1993, the Vince Foster, Jr. Outstanding Lawyer Award was given out annually by the Pulaski County Bar Association to recognize members who contributed to the bar and advanced the legal profession. An endowed chair at the University of Arkansas School of Law, the Vincent Foster University Professor of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, was created in his name. In 2015 a holder of the chair, Howard W. Brill, was appointed Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.
2. Investigations by a coroner and Independent Counsel Robert B. Fiske, in a 58-page report released on June 30, 1994, also concluded that Foster's death was a suicide. This report made use of FBI resources and incorporated the views of several experienced pathologists; it concluded: "The overwhelming weight of the evidence compels the conclusion ... that Vincent Foster committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993."
3. and 4. Two investigations by the U.S. Congress found that Foster died of suicide: One was by Representative William F. Clinger Jr. of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who reached this conclusion in findings published on August 12, 1994. The other was by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, wherein both the majority Democrats and minority Republicans on the committee developed findings that reached the same conclusion in reports issued on January 3, 1995.
5. After a three-year investigation, Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr released a report on October 10, 1997, also concluding that the death was a suicide. In response, Sheila Foster Anthony, Vince Foster's sister, said she agreed with Starr's findings but criticized his investigation for having taken so long, thus contributing to the existence of "ridiculous conspiracy theories proffered by those with a profit or political motive". The inclusion of Foster's death in the Starr investigation, and the length of time it took, was in part due to the role of Starr associate counsel Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh's role in this became controversial two decades later during his Supreme Court nomination process.
Currently, Vince Foster is 77 years, 10 months and 13 days old. Vince Foster will celebrate 78th birthday on a Sunday 15th of January 2023.
Find out about Vince Foster birthday activities in timeline view here.