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.
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.
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.