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William Jefferson Clinton, in his memoirs, says that he was born William Jefferson Blythe III. Many sources, such as his biography at, agree with that statement. Others say that he was born William Jefferson Blythe IV.

The solution to this puzzle is complicated. The future president's father and grandfather were both named William Jefferson Blythe. That grandfather was named for an uncle of the same name. Ergo, if one considers only the direct line of fathers and sons, the future president was the third in the line. One could just as easily say that the grandfather's uncle was the first, the grandfather was the second, making the future president the fourth. In other words, either number is correct.

Steve Teske
North Little Rock, AR