Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1961. Obama went on to become President of the Harvard Law Review and a U.S. senator representing Illinois. In 2008, he was elected President of the United States, becoming the first African-American president. He served two terms as the 44th president of the United States.
Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats in Africa. Eventually, he earned a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of going to college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham, and they married on February 2, 1961. Six months later, Barack was born.
As a child, Obama did not have a relationship with his father. When Obama was still an infant, Obama Sr. went to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University and pursue a Ph.D. Then Obama’s parents officially separated and ultimately divorced in March 1964. Soon after, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya.
In 1965, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, a University of Hawaii student from Indonesia. One year later, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia. Several incidents in Indonesia made Dunham afraid for her son’s safety and education. Therefore, at the age of 10, Obama was sent back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother later joined them.
While living with his grandparents, Obama enrolled in the esteemed Punahou Academy, He was extremely good at basketball. In 1979, he graduated with academic honors. After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science.
After working in the business sector for two years, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. In Chicago, he worked on the impoverished South Side as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and the Altgeld Gardens communities. Obama then entered Harvard Law School in 1988. In 1991, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law.
One year after Obama entered Harvard, he joined the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin as a summer associate, and it was there he met Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer who was assigned to be his adviser. They began dating soon. In February 1990, Obama was elected the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law in 1991. On October 3, 1992, Obama and Michelle got married.
After graduation, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer with the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
In 1996, Obama became the Senate of Illinois State. During his year as Illinois Senate, Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to draft legislation on ethics, as well as expand health care services and early childhood education programs for the poor.
2008 Presidential Election
In February 2007, Obama made headlines when he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain and won election as the 44th president of the United States – and the first African-American to hold this office. Obama’s inauguration was on January 20, 2009.
When Obama took office, he faced a global economic recession and two ongoing foreign wars. He spared no effort in financial reform, alternative energy and education and health care. All of those helped bring down the national debt.
As Obama did in 2008, Obama focused on grassroots during his campaign for a second presidential term.
“I guarantee you, we will move this country forward,” Obama stated in June 2012, at a campaign event in Maryland. “We will finish what we started. And we’ll remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.”
In the 2012 election, Obama competed with Republican opponent Mitt Romney. On November 6, 2012, Obama won the election by receiving nearly five million more votes than Romney.
On January 10, 2017, President Obama returned to Chicago to deliver his farewell speech. He talked about his faith in American democracy and the accomplishments during his administration. “If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history – if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 – if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high,” he said. “But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. The answer to people’s hopes and, because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.”