Barack Obama Biography

Getting to know Barack Obama – the First African-American President of United States

Barack Obama is the current 44th President of the United States and has pursued a political career by working as a civil rights lawyer and then as a Senator of the State in the state of Illinois. He has also worked as a community organizer for twenty years. He made history by being elected as the first African-American to hold office in the U.S

Quick Facts:

  • Nick name: Barry
  • Date of birth: August 4th, 1961
  • Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Profession: Current President of United States
  • Known for: Being the first Afro-American to hold a post of a President in United States.
  • Website:

Childhood and growing up years:

Barack Obama was born to an American mother and a Kenyan Father and thus has a strong multiracial background. His dad Barack Obama Sr. and mother Ann Dunham split when Obama was two years old.  Later, his dad went on to Harvard University to pursue his doctorate studies. Barack Obama stayed with his mother and after the re-marriage of his mom with an East-western citizen of Indonesia, the family moved on Jakarta in Indonesia where Obama stayed with his half sister Maya Soetoro Ng. There were a number of incidents that frightened Dunham about the education and safety of her son in the country of Indonesia. Due to this reason he was sent back to Hawaii at the age of 10 where he stayed with his maternal grandparents and after a few years his mother and sister joined his stay in Hawaii.

Obama enrolled himself in the prestigious Punahou Academy, Hawaii where he excelled in the sports while playing basketball and graduated with a degree in Honors in the year 1979. During his school days, where he was the only one out of the three blacks, Obama was conscious about racism issues where he was meant to be an African-American. As a child he used to struggle to find out answers between his father’s and mother’s skin tone. At his teenage times, he would also indulge himself in alcohol, cocaine and marijuana in order to deal with his internal conflicts which he sometimes regretted later. However, now he thinks he was illegal and morally wrong and did not touch drugs after those two tremendous years of distress. At the same time he also struggled with the absence of his father, who he saw once again after the divorce of their parents in the year 1971, when they happened to have gone for this father’s funeral.

On the completion of his high school, Barack Obama studied at the Occidental College of Los Angeles for about two years. From here he was transferred to New York where in studied in the prestigious Columbia College while majoring in Political Science accompanied with a specialization in International Relations in the year 1983. He then moved on to Chicago where he spent four valuable years in New York working with the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and also at the International Business Corporation. He was recruited by a community organizer to work for the Developing Community Projects which was originally a church based community association who has looking out for blacks who could help them gather funds to improve the condition of black living in the communities of Altgeld Gardens and Roseland. During his employment with the Developing Community Projects, the staff in this organization grew from being one to 13 members. He then worked as a Consultant for Gamaliel Foundation. Through this foundation he got the chance to travel to Europe and Kenya and this was the first time when he got the chance to meet his father’s family.

Obama believed that law was the medium to propagate and instill in fellow humans activism and service to community organizations. Thus, in the late 1988’s He enrolled himself in Harvard School of Law. Just one year of his time in law school he was elected as the President of Law review where he was given the duty to take the role of editor-in-chief. As a black, he was the first person to have gained this position. While still studying law, he next year he was working as an associate for Sidley and Austin Law firm. This is where he met Michelle Robinson who was assisting him with his work as part of his summer internship with the law agency. Since then the couple began dating each other.

After completing his law studies, Barack Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer in the Miner, Barnhill and Galland Law firm. Later on, he also taught at the University of Chicago Law School while working simultaneously to organize voters for the registration of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in the year 1992. The publicity that he had received during his days in Harvard University as the first black President to Harvard Law review, gave him the prestigious offer by the University to write a book on racial relations. For this purpose he was given a Fellowship from the University along with an office where he could spend time writing his book. Meanwhile, on the 3rd of October, 1192 Obama got married to his long love Michelle after which the couple moved on to live in Kenwood, which is situated on the South side of Chicago. In the year 1998 there had their first daughter named Malia and second daughter Sasha in the year 2001. Barack Obama thought he would complete the book in a year but it took many more months of him to complete the book as he also included some of his personal experiences. It is said that he traveled to Bali along with his wife to write most of parts of the book. The book was published in the year 1995 and it was names “Dreams from my Father: A story of Race and Inheritance. His book won a Grammy award for its audio version. Soon after the publication of the book, Obama’s mother moved from Hawaii to Indonesia where she died of Ovarian and uterine cancer.

Claim to fame:

In the year 1992, Barack Obama had organized the largest voter registration campaigns – The Project Vote with the help of ten staff members working under him and around 700 volunteers. The goal of this project was to register 1, 50,000 African Americans in the state of Chicago who were not registered. This was one of the most successful voter registration campaigns and the efforts of this Project had led Obama to become the Senator for the State of Illinois. This was the turning point in the life of Obama. Consequently, in the year 1996 November he was elected as the succeeding State Senator to Alice Palmer as Obama was the only candidate left while the others petitions were considered invalid due to certain reasons. While in post, he worked for criminal justice and reform of social ethics. In the year 1998, accompanied with the U.S senator Paul Simon, Barack carried out what is considered to be the toughest campaign for finance law. This law called for banning of personal use to carry out campaigns and to receive any kind of gifts in the form of appreciation from lobbyists. This bill was passed to uplift the financial crisis of Illinois as it was going the worst situations in finance regulations. Barack Obama served three consecutive terms in the Illinois Senate starting from the year 1997 to 2004. However, he lost the primary run for being elected for U.S in the House of Representatives in a very close fight with Bobby Rush.

Obama came into actual limelight during his inspiring speech which was given in July 2004 at the National democratic Convention were his speech spoke against the policies and administration of Bush government on the Iraq War. Spectators of his speech thought of him as a rising star and compared him as being a great orator at stage with the great Martin Luther King Jr. and also with John. F. Kennedy.

During the year 2002, Obama made up his mind to run the U.S Senate and for this purpose he formally announced his name in 2003 for the purpose of being a candidate in the U.S Senate. When the elections were held on November 2nd, 2004 Obama won the election with a clean sweep of votes and was finally elected to the U.S Senate. With this, he resigned his post from the State Senate of Illinois. With this, Barack Obama stood at the fifth position Afro-American to take a seat in US Senate. When he was sworn to office in 2005, Obama joined hands with the Republican Senator Richard Lugar from the country of Indiana to pass a bill for the expansion to destroy the weapons of destruction made in Russia and Eastern Europe. With the combined efforts of Tom Corburn the Republican Senator of Oklahoma designed a website which could track all the spending of the federal government. Obama also made an effort to go out and speak to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and worked for the improvement of veteran’s benefits.

Up to 2006, Obama was given minority posts such as Veteran’s Affairs, Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works on Senate committees. He also took up major additional projects on health, labor and pensions, education while being a part of the government affairs of the Senate till 2007. During his time in the office Barack Obama worked to get the black colleges eligible to grant money and passed summer education programs which emphasized on problem-solving and mathematics skills. He sketched out his second book in October 2006, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream which discussed about his future aspirations of the country of America while talking about his presidential campaign. The book soon hit a number one stand in the New York Times and stood as the bestsellers book list in


Barack Obama made news when he announced for his stand in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominations. He soon found himself in a tough battle with the former U.S Senator and the first lady from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton. However, on June 3rd, 2008 Obama became the assumptive nominee for a Democratic party where Senator Clinton gave full support for his campaign. On the 4th November 2008 Barack Obama successfully defeated John McCain and acquired the position of being the U.S President with 52.9 percent majority. He was sworn into his position on the 20th January 2009 where Obama made history as the 44th President and being the first African-American to take this prestigious position.

Barack Obama delivered his victory speech in front of the Chicago’s Grant Park among a thousand supporters. With his victory, there was not only a nationwide celebration, but also worldwide celebrations which include his home country, Kenya. When Obama took his prestigious presidential position, the globe was facing economic recession and the United States was favoring with the lowest international rating ever. Thus, he worked to reform the financial situation by reinventing health care and education which brought down national debt. During his course of time, he took up many field administration projects and passed a number of bills to promote economic growth. He also made an effort to bring down the tax rates for working families and other small-business homes. During the first hundred days of his reign, Obama worked to improve foreign relations with Russia, Europe, China, Cuba, Iran and also Venezuela.

It is on 20th January 2010, that Barack Obama gave his first State of Union Speech. In this speech he addressed the fee for large banks, the obstacles of the economy and also spoke about the Supreme Court on his law reversing finance spending campaign. He promised to the citizens of United States to improve the conditions of the Americans despite the poor domestic conditions and problems.

On the 4th of April, President of United States, Barack Obama announced for his re-election nomination campaign for the elections which are going to be held in 2012. Barack is expected to oppose a reputed candidate from the Republican Party and also candidates from many other parties for the election which is due for 6th November 2012 which is falling on a Tuesday. His Presidential campaign will take place in Chicago and his key members who worked for his elections in 2008 such as David Axelrod and David Plouffe are expected to be a part of this campaign too.

Awards and Nominations Received:

Barack Obama won his first achievement by winning the Grammy Award for his audio version of the book “Dreams from my Father: A story of Race and Inheritance which was published in the year 1995.

Within nine months of his time period in his Presidential post, Obama has been awarded the Noble Peace Prize in October 2009 in the state of Oslo for his success of overseeing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There were 205 nominations for this prestigious award.

He was also a recipient of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award for the year 2009 and 2010.

Not only this, he also has two top awards which were offered to him at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Awards.

Personal Quotes:

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

“My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

“Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation.”

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