On this date in 1739, George Clinton was born in New York. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the British Army to fight in the French and Indian War, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant. Later he studied law, became clerk of the court of common pleas, and served in the colonial assembly.
He was a member of the New York Provincial Assembly for Ulster County from 1768 to 1776, and then became the first elected Governor of New York in 1777 (he was re-elected five times, serving until 1795).
In 1783, Clinton was with George Washington to negotiate with General Sir Guy Carleton for the evacuation of the final British troops from the United States.
In 1792, the Republican movement nominated Clinton for Vice President. He won 50 electoral votes to John Adams' 77. He was out of political office from 1795 until he was re-elected governor in 1801.
In 1804, Clinton was nominated to be Thomas Jefferson's running mate in the latter's bid for re-election (Jefferson and Vice President Aaron Burr had difficulties). Clinton served Jefferson's second term, and then was re-elected to the Vice Presidency under President James Madison (becoming the first of only two Vice Presidents to serve under two different Presidents). Clinton died of a heart attack in 1812, the first national office holder to die in office.