Barack Obama. biography
Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii to his white American mother, Ann Dunham, and black Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr.
After his parents divorced in 1964, Ann remarried Lolo Soetoro and the newly formed family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, a place in which Obama has refereed to as his first exposure to true poverty.
Due to the lack of education and safety, Ann sent Barack back to Hawaii at the age of 10 under his grandparents’ supervision.
In 1979, Barak graduated from the highly respected Punahou Academy with honors and a keen sense in athletics. He later looked back on his time in school and expressed his sense of self-doubt and lack of confidence pertaining to his black outer appearance, saying, "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."
Barak then graduated from Columbia University in New York with a political science degree in 1983, before moving to Chicago and becoming a community organizer for low-income citizens on Chicago’s South Side. After traveling to Kenya to visit his biological father’s grave and coming to the realization of America’s growing frustration with life, Barack returned to the U.S. with a revived sense of hope and enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1988.
Once there, he started dating law firm associate Michelle Robinson and was appointed the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review in 1990 before graduating from Harvard with high honors in 1991. After two years of dating, Barack married Michelle on October 3, 1992 and relocated to Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Kenwood where he aided in Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Three years later, he compiled his growing advocacy for many issues in the autobiography Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995). The book was highly received by critics and literary icons, guiding Barack to an Illinois State Senate seat triumph as a Democrat in 1996. Throughout the term, Barack served among Democrats and Republicans to enforce ethic laws, require the recording of all interrogations and confessions in capital cases, increase early education programs for the poor, create a state earned-income tax credit for the less fortunate and revise health care benefits.
In 1998, Barack and Michelle welcomed their first daughter Malia, followed by their daughter Natasha in 2001.
Due to his increasing poll numbers, Barack ran for the U.S Senate open seat and obtained 52% of the vote in the 2004 Democratic primary, defeating multimillionaires Daniel Hynes and Blair Hull. In August, Barack and Republican nominee Alan Keyes butted heads in three televised debates in which the two conveyed opposing perspectives on tax cuts, gun control, abortion and stem cell research. In November 2004, Barack made Illinois history when he secured 70% of the general election votes over Keyes’ 27% and became the third African-American U.S. Senator since the Reconstruction Era (1865 – 1877).
In October 2006, Barack released his second book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, comprised of his forward-thinking visions of America’s future, which turned into a New York Times and Amazon.com best-seller. A year later, he revealed his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was immediately thrown into battle with New York senator and former first lady Hilary Clinton.
After months of campaigning, however, Obama inched out in front of Hillary and acquired the Democratic Party nominee on June 3, 2008, alongside future-vice-president Senator Joe Biden. With Hillary’s full support and a growing following of young voters, Barack easily defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain and became the first elected African-American president on November 4, 2008.
On January 20, 2009, Barack was inaugurated and acquired an economic recession and two unnecessary wars. He began reforming America by persuading Congress to provide women with equal rights in the work place, expand health care insurance for children, cut taxes for working families, first-time home buyers and small business, and relax the sanction on embryonic stem cell research. He went on to strengthen America’s foreign policy, prearrange the withdrawal of American troops in Iraq for August 2010, suggest a substantial fee for big banks, rally against Supreme Court’s alteration of a law restricting campaign spending and adamantly focus his attention on the economic hardship plaguing the middle class.
In March 2010, he signed in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which limits insurance companies’ overbearing policies, provides individuals under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance and requires citizens to purchase health insurance or pay an addition tax. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the act in June 2012.
During his second term in office, Barack signed in the 2011 Budget Control Act to help regulate government spending and its ability to default on financial responsibilities, overturned the controversial military policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and endorsed a U.S. Navy SEALs covert operation in Pakistan, which resulted in the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Barack continued with his initial 2008 mission to change America’s economic downfall and convince all citizens, no matter Republican or Democratic, to work together as one, in the 2012 presidential race. He was put up against Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was clearly out of touch with the average citizen from the start of his campaign. His standoffish exterior became ever so clear when an uncensored video of him speaking to a group of wealthy citizen at a private fundraiser made headlines, in which he is heard saying that Barack’s supporters are those who depend on government handouts and refuse to take responsibility for their lives. Mitt continued to make insensitive comments throughout the campaign, ultimately costing him a ride to the White House. Within hours of polls closing on November 6, 2012, Barack was re-elected for a second four-year term, with 303 Electoral College votes over Mitt’s 206 votes.
“And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.
I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Cheers, applause.)
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try. (Cheers, applause.)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. (Sustained cheers, applause.)
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)
And together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, America. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you. God bless these United States. (Cheers, applause.)”
Barack Obama Wife & Dating History Timeline
1989 – Present
Barack and Michelle Robinson Obama first met while working together at the law firm Sidney Austin and saw Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing” on their first date. They went on to get married on October 3, 1992 and welcome their two daughters Malia Ann (b. 1998) and Natasha (b. 2001).
Did you know…
- Barack enjoys playing basketball and poker.
- Barack won the 2006 Grammy for Best Spoken World Album.
- Barack was the first African-American president of Harvard Law Review.
- Barack is left-handed.
- Barack quit smoking before the start of his presidential campaign.