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Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States .
Barack Obama was born to a white American mother, Ann Dunham, and a black Kenyan father,Barack Obama Sr., who were both young college students at the University of Hawaii. When his father left for Harvard, she and Barack stayed behind, and his father ultimately returned alone to Kenya, where he worked as a government economist. Baracks mother remarried an Indonesian oil manager and moved to Jakarta when Barack was six. He later recounted Indonesia as simultaneously lush and a harrowing exposure to tropical poverty. He returned to Hawaii, where he was brought up largely by his grandparents. The family lived in a small apartment his grandfather was a furniture salesman and an unsuccessful insurance agent and his grandmother worked in a bank but Barack managed to get into Punahou School, Hawaiis top prep academy. His father wrote to him regularly but, though he traveled around the world on official business for Kenya, he visited only once, when Barack was ten.
bama attended Columbia University, but found New Yorks racial tension inescapable. He became a community organizer for a small Chicago church based group for three years, helping poor South Side residents cope with a wave of plant closings. He then attended Harvard Law School, and in 1990 became the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He turned down a prestigious judicial clerkship, choosing instead to practice civil rights law back in Chicago, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination and working on voting rights legislation. He also began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School, and married Michelle Robinson, a fellow attorney. Eventually he was elected to the Illinois state senate, where his district included both Hyde Park and some of the poorest ghettos on the South Side.
In 2004 Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, representing Illinois, and he gained national attention by giving a rousing and well received keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. In 2008 he ran for President, and despite having only four years of national political experience, he won. In January 2009, he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American ever elected to that position. Obama was reelected to a second term in November 2012.
Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama is the 44th and current president of the United States. He was a civil rights lawyer and teacher before pursuing a political career. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, serving from 1997 to 2004. He was elected to the U.S. presidency in 2008, and won re election in 2012 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. President Obama continues to enact policy changes in response to the issues of health care and economic crisis.
3. Early life
Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where her father worked on oil rigs during the Great Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dunhams father, Stanley, enlisted in the service and marched across Europe in Pattons army. Dunhams mother, Madelyn, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and, after several moves, landed in Hawaii.Barack Obamas father, Barack Obama Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in Africa, eventually earning a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham, and they married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born six months later.
Obama did not have a relationship with his father as a child. When his son was still an infant, Obama Sr. relocated to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University, pursuing a Ph.D. Baracks parents officially separated several months later and ultimately divorced in March 1964, when their son was 2. In 1965, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya.In 1965, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an East West Center student from Indonesia. A year later, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Baracks half sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born. Several incidents in Indonesia left Dunham afraid for her sons safety and education so, at the age of 10, Barack was sent back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother and sister later joined them.
While living with his grandparents, Obama enrolled in the esteemed Punahou Academy, excelling in basketball and graduating with academic honors in 1979. As one of only three black students at the school, Obama became conscious of racism and what it meant to be African American. He later described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage with his own sense of self: I began to notice there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog and that Santa was a white man, he said. I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking the way I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me.Obama also struggled with the absence of his father, who he saw only once more after his parents divorced, when Obama Sr. visited Hawaii for a short time in 1971. [My father] had left paradise, and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact, he later reflected. They couldnt describe what it might have been like had he stayed.
Ten years later, in 1981, tragedy struck Obama Sr. He was involved in a serious car accident, losing both of his legs as a result. Confined to a wheelchair, he also lost his job. In 1982, Obama Sr. was involved in yet another car accident while traveling in Nairobi. This time, however, the crash was fatal. Obama Sr. died on November 24, 1982, when Barack was 21 years old. At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me, Obama later said, both more and less than a man.After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science. After working in the business sector for two years, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. There, he worked on the South Side as a community organizer for low income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens communities.
5. Law career
It was during this time that Barack Obama, who said he was not raised in a religious household, joined the Trinity United Church of Christ. He also visited relatives in Kenya, which included an emotional visit to the graves of his biological father and paternal grandfather. For a long time I sat between the two graves and wept, Obama said. I saw that my life in America the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I felt as a boy, the frustration and hope Id witnessed in Chicago all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away.
Obama returned from Kenya with a sense of renewal, entering Harvard Law School in 1988. The next year, he met Michelle Robinson, an associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. She was assigned to be Obamas adviser during a summer internship at the firm, and not long after, the couple began dating. Their first kiss took place outside of a Chicago shopping center where a plaque featuring a photo of the couple kissing was installed more than two decades later, in August 2012. In February 1990, Obama was elected the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated from Harvard, magna cum laude, in 1991.
After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer, joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught part time at the University of Chicago Law School (1992 2004) first as a lecturer and then as a professor and helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clintons 1992 presidential campaign. On October 3, 1992, he and Michelle were married. They moved to Kenwood, on Chicagos South Side, and welcomed two daughters several years later: Malia (born 1998) and Sasha (born 2001).
6. Entry into illinois politics
Obama published an autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, in 1995. The work received high praise from literary figures like Toni Morrison and has since been printed in 10 languages, including Chinese, Swedish and Hebrew. The book had a second printing in 2004, and was adapted for a childrens version. The 2006 audiobook version of Dreams, narrated by Obama, received a Grammy Award (best spoken word album).
Obamas advocacy work led him to run for a seat in the Illinois State Senate. He ran as a Democrat, and won election in 1996. During these years, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to draft legislation on ethics, and expand health care services and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also created a state earned income tax credit for the working poor. Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senates Health and Human Services Committee as well, and after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, he worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.In 2000, Obama made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. Undeterred, he created a campaign committee in 2002, and began raising funds to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004. With the help of political consultant David Axelrod, Obama began assessing his prospects of a Senate win.
Following the 9 11 attacks in 2001, Obama was an early opponent of President George W. Bushs push to go to war with Iraq. Obama was still a state senator when he spoke against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq during a rally at Chicagos Federal Plaza in October 2002. I am not opposed to all wars. Im opposed to dumb wars, he said. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. Despite his protests, the Iraq War began in 2003.
7. U s senate career
Obama, encouraged by poll numbers, decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. In the 2004 Democratic primary, he won 52 percent of the vote, defeating multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes. That summer, he was invited to deliver the keynote speech in support of John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Obama emphasized the importance of unity, and made veiled jabs at the Bush Administration and the diversionary use of wedge issues.After the convention, Obama returned to his U.S. Senate bid in Illinois. His opponent in the general election was supposed to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, a wealthy former investment banker. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004, following public disclosure of unsubstantiated sexual deviancy allegations by Ryans ex wife, actress Jeri Ryan.
In August 2004, diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan. In three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts. In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70 percent of the vote to Keyes 27 percent, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. With his win, Barack Obama became only the third African American elected to the U.S. Senate since the Reconstruction.Sworn into office January 4, 2005, Obama partnered with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then, with Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, he created a website to track all federal spending. Obama also spoke out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative energy development, and championed improved veterans benefits.
His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in October 2006. The work discussed Obamas visions for the future of America, many of which became talking points for his eventual presidential campaign. Shortly after its release, it hit No. 1 on both the New York Times and Amazon.com best seller lists.
8. Kenya meets kansas
Barack Hussein Obama was born in the two year old US state of Hawaii to a white American mother and a black Kenyan father. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in a small Kenyan village where school was a tin roof shack. Obama Sr. married and had one son. But in 1959, Obama Sr. left his newborn son and his again pregnant wife for a scholarship at the University of Hawaii. This would not be the last time ambition came before family. It was there that the Universitys first black student met the Kansas born, Ann Dunham. Despite the differences in their personalities, Obama Sr. was an assured intellectual whereas Ann was awkward and shy, the couple married. At the time, Ann was three months pregnant. Obama Sr. lied to her that hed divorced his African wife and mother of four of his children. Six months later, in Honolulu, on 4 August 1961, Barack Obama was born.But Obama Sr. again put academia before his second family by leaving for a Harvard scholarship. Ann was just 20 when he left. Barack was just two. Obama Sr. and Ann soon separated and in 1964, she filed for divorce.
9. Muslim stepfather
Ann met another student, Lolo Soetoro. They married and after two years moved to Soetoros native Indonesia in 1967. From the relative affluence of Hawaii, the six year old Barack was now confronted every day on his doorstep with the extreme poverty of a Third World country. Within six months, Barack was fluent in the local language. Each day started at 4am with his mother waking him to give him additional English lessons before Catholic school. His Muslim stepfather taught him everything from how to change a flat tyre to opening in chess. He imbued Barack with the values of Islam but didnt convert him. His mother Ann was raised Christian but taught her son to be sceptical of religion.In 1970, his mother had a daughter. When he was ten, Barack returned to Hawaii with his mother where he secured a scholarship. There was just one other black student at his school.
Baracks father visited him just once.
10. Drugs drink malcolm x
When Baracks mother returned to Indonesia, her parents raised him. His grandparents tried their best during his basketball playing teenage years which often saw drinking and drug use, including marijuana and blow, American slang for cocaine. Politically, he was attracted more to Malcolm X than Martin Luther King. In 1979, Barack enrolled at college in Los Angeles. His mother divorced Soetoro.
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