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On May 17, 1946, while traveling from Chicago, Illinois, to Hope, Arkansas, Blythe lost control of his 1942 Buick on U.S. Highway 60 outside of Sikeston, Missouri, after one of his tires blew out.
More DetailsHide DetailsHe survived the accident after being thrown from the car but drowned in a drainage ditch as he tried to pull his way out of the three feet of water that covered the ground in the ditch. Three months later, Virginia gave birth to their son, William Jefferson Blythe III, the future President. In 1950, she married Roger Clinton; Bill Clinton legally took his stepfather's surname in 1961.
Blythe was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hope, Hempstead County, Arkansas. In 1994, Virginia was interred beside him. In Clinton's autobiography, the elder Blythe was extensively mentioned including a visit that Clinton made to the site where his father drowned.
She became pregnant in late 1945, eventually giving birth to their son William Jefferson Blythe III.
More DetailsHide DetailsBlythe died in a car crash before young Bill was born, and so the boy was raised by Roger Clinton, Sr. Virginia did not learn of her husband's previous marriages until 50 years later after the Washington Post ran an extensive story about Blythe during Father's Day.
Blythe soon shipped out for military service during the Second World War, and was stationed in Egypt and Italy. He worked in a motor pool repairing jeeps and tanks. After the war, he returned to Hope, Arkansas to be with his wife. Shortly after he returned, the two of them bought a house in Chicago. Blythe moved there while Virginia stayed behind in Hope due to her pregnancy. In Chicago, Blythe returned to his old job as a traveling salesman for the Manbee Equipment Company, which repaired heavy machinery.
Blythe's fourth marriage took place on September 3, 1943, to Virginia Dell Cassidy.
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