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Barack Obama

President Barack Obama photo

Obama's early life

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961. His mother, Ann Dunham, was a Kansas native, while his father was from Kenya. The two met at the University of Hawaii, were married, and Barack Jr. was born several months later. After Barack’s birth, he and his mother moved to Seattle, while Barack Sr. stayed at the University of Hawaii to finish his degree. Several years later, they officially divorced, and Barack Sr. returned to Africa. When Barack was in the fifth grade, he returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. He graduated from high school in 1979 and attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

College and early career

At Occidental College, Obama spoke out for the divestment of South Africa, due to apartheid. He transferred to Columbia University in New York in 1981, majoring in political science and international relations. He was hired in Chicago to direct the Developing Communities Project (DCP), and worked there for three years, setting up college prep programs, job training programs, and the like. In 1988, Obama began attending Harvard Law School, where he was the editor and then president of the Harvard Law Review, a journal. Upon receiving his juris doctorate (JD) degree, he returned to Chicago and was offered a position teaching at the University of Chicago.

During his time at UC, he also helped with voter registration drives for President Bill Clinton’s (link) campaign in 1992. He practiced law with Davis, Miner, Barnhill, and Galland, and served on the Board of Directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago.

Obama's entrance into politics

In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois state Senate. He worked to expand health care and implement other programs for people of lower socioeconomic status. He was reelected in 1998, but was unsuccessful in 2000. He was elected to the US Senate in 2004, and served from 2005-2008.

Obama's Presidency

In 2008, Obama ran for President of the United States. His main goals were to end the war in Iraq, provide universal healthcare to all Americans, and increase energy independence. He won the election on November 4, and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. During the first several months of his presidency, Obama tried to ensure health insurance for all children. He cut taxes for many middle class citizens. He also implemented programs designed to stimulate the economy. He tried to improve international relations as well. Because of his amazing initiative, he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He inspired Americans to keep hope alive that the nation would recover from the great downturn it had experienced.

Reelection

In November, 2012, President Obama was reelected to serve one more term. That night, he told America, “Tonight you voted for action, not just politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties.” At the time of this publication, Obama still holds the current office of the President.