Presidents: Barack Obama

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Barack Obama is the first African American to have served as president, as well as the first born outside the contiguous United States.

Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is the son of Barack and Ann Dunham Obama, Sr. His father was black and his mother was white.

In March 1964, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. He spent a year in Washington state and four years living in Indonesia with his mom and stepfather. He is able to speak basic Indonesian.

In 1971, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents.

Upon graduating high school, he moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, Obama made his first public speech. Later in 1981, he transferred as a junior to Columbia University in New York City, where he graduated in 1983.

In 1988, he entered Harvard Law School. He was selected as editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe while at Harvard for two years. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991.

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at a Chicago law firm. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.

Barack Obama

In 1991, he began teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. He also worked on staff at a law firm for a few years.

Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to the publication of his memoir Dreams of My Father in 1995.

Obama enjoys playing basketball and is a supporter of the Chicago White Sox.

In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois Senate.

In 1998, Michele Obama had their first daughter, Malia. Their second daughter, Sasha, was born in 2001.

In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.

In 2002, he spoke out on President George W. Bush invasion of Iraq.

In January 2005, he became a U.S. Senator from Illinois.

In 2005, the Obama’s bought a condominium in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Barack Obama

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

He won the nomination from the Democratic National Convention, beating out former First Lady Hillary Clinton. He won the election.

His inauguration took place on January 20, 2009. He immediately began plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, but that did not prove as easy as he initially thought it would be.

Obama also worked on an economic stimulus package to help the recession that had gripped the country.

He set up new health care legislation known as Obamacare.

In 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

On May 1, 2011 Osama bin Laden was killed. In 2012, he won re-election.

Barack Obama

He left office on January 20, 2017 after two terms.

On March 2, 2017, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum awarded the annual Profile in Courage Award to Obama “for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage.”

The Obama Presidential Center is the planned presidential library of Barack Obama. The center will be hosted by the University of Chicago.

Obama’s most significant legacy is generally considered to be the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Leaving office at the young age of 55, only time will reveal what his post-presidency contributions and life will entail.



44th President of the United States
(January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017)Nicknames: “Barry”

Born: August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii

Father: Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.
Mother: Ann Dunham
Married: Michelle Robinson (1964- ), on October 18, 1992
Children: Malia Ann Obama (1999- ); Natasha “Sasha” Obama (2001- )

Religion: United Church of Christ
Education: Attended Occidental College; Graduated Columbia University (1983); Graduated from Harvard Law School (1991)
Occupation: Lawyer
Political Party: Democrat

  • Member of Illinois State Senate, 1996-2004
  • United States Senator, 2005-08

Presidential Salary: $400,000/year + $50,000 expense account

The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) is passed
Osama bin Laden is killed in a US raid in Pakistan
Barack Obama is re-elected President

  • Obama was the first African-American U.S. president.
  • Obama was the first president born outside of the contiguous United States.
  • Obama was the eighth left-handed president of the United States.
  • Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

1961 Born Aug. 4, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham
1964 Parents divorce
1967 Obama’s mother married Lolo Soetoro, moved family to Indonesia
1970 Sister Maya Soetoro born, Aug. 15
1971-1979 Obama moved back to Hawaii for 5th grade through high school, lived mostly with grandparents
1971 Obama Sr. visited his son in Hawaii
1979 Attended Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, for 2 years
1981 Transferred to Columbia University, NY
1982 Father died in car crash at age 46, in Nairobi, Kenya
1983 Received BA in Political Science from Columbia Univ., worked in New York City
1985 Moved to Chicago, IL, worked as community organizer
1987 Visited Kenya and his father’s grave
1988 Enrolled at Harvard Law School
1990 Elected editor of Harvard Law Review (first African-American elected to the position)
1991 Graduated from Harvard Law School
1992 Married attorney Michelle Robinson, Oct. 18
1993 Began lecturing at University of Chicago Law School and working at a law firm
1995 Mother died of cancer, age 52
1996 Elected to the Illinois state senate (first term)
1998 Re-elected to the Illinois state senate (second term)
1999 Daughter Malia born
2000 Lost Illinois Democratic primary election for US House of Representatives seat
2001 Daughter Sasha born
2002 Re-elected to the Illinois state senate (third term)
2005 Obama’s first book, Dreams from My Father, published
2004 Elected to the US Senate (IL-Dem)
2006 Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, published
2008 Won Democratic Party presidential primary election process, June. Officially nominated by the Democratic party at August Convention (first African-American to win a major party nomination)
2008 Elected 44th President of the USA on Nov. 4 (first African-American elected to the position)
2009 Inaugurated as President of the USA on Jan. 20
2009 Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, October 9
2012 Elected for a second presidential term, November 6





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