Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, has been a prominent figure in American and global politics for years. With his charismatic leadership, impactful policies, and unique background, he has made a significant mark in the annals of history. This article delves deep into his birth, life, and the essential milestones he achieved as President.
Quick Facts About Barack Obama
|Name:||Barack Hussein Obama II|
|Date of Birth:||August 4, 1961|
|Net Worth:||$70 Million|
|Occupation:||44th U.S. President | Politician|
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. His mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She was predominantly of English ancestry but also had some German, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry. Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Luo Kenyan man from Nyang’oma Kogelo.
Obama’s parents met in 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was an international student on a scholarship. They married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born later that year and named after his father. His parents divorced when Obama was two years old in 1964. Obama’s father returned to Kenya and visited him only once more before dying in a car accident 1982.
After her divorce, Ann Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto rose to power in 1967, all students studying abroad were recalled, and Obama’s stepfather returned to Indonesia. Ann followed soon after with young Barack in 1967, and the family initially lived in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet subdistrict of south Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.
1971 Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham. He attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until graduating high school in 1979. Obama’s mother returned to Hawaii in 1972 for several years, and then in 1977, went back to Indonesia, where she worked as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994, living there until she died in 1995.
Obama wrote in his memoir Dreams from My Father of his early childhood: “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multicultural heritage.
Education and Family
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 bachelor’s degree in political science.
In 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School, where he was the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating magna cum laude in 1991, Obama returned to Chicago to practice civil rights law and teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.
During his time in Chicago, Obama met his wife, Michelle Robinson. They were married on October 3, 1992, and have two daughters, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (Sasha) (born 2001).
5 Facts About Barack Obama
- First African American elected President of the United States
- Graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School
- Served as a community organizer in Chicago in the 1980s
- He met his wife, Michelle, while working at a Chicago law firm
- Authored two bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope
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After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate, serving three terms representing the 13th district. Obama made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives 2000.
In 2004, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming only the third African American elected to that body since the end of Reconstruction in 1877. As a senator, Obama co-sponsored legislation on ethics and greenhouse gas emissions. He also served on various committees, including Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, and Veterans Affairs.
Barack Obama’s presidency ended on January 20, 2017, after the inauguration of his successor, Donald Trump. After leaving office at age 55, Obama was the youngest ex-president since Theodore Roosevelt (who left office at age 50) and Jimmy Carter (who left office at age 56).
The Obamas purchased a home in Washington, D.C., to stay in until their younger daughter Sasha graduated from high school. Obama also remained politically active, voicing his opposition to Republican efforts to repeal his health care legislation. His post-presidency memoir, A Promised Land, was released in November 2020 and sold over 3.3 million copies in its first week.
In April 2017, Obama made his first public speech since leaving office at the University of Chicago. Other speaking engagements in the first year after Obama’s presidency brought in more than $1 million in fees. He has also continued to meet with youth leaders through his Obama Foundation.
In 2021, Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company Higher Ground signed a multi-year deal with Audible to produce original audio content. The Obamas’ slate includes The Big Hit Show, a comedy-variety series, and the Wise Kids podcast for children. Obama continues to be involved in public service through his foundation’s critical leadership, civic engagement, and community-building initiatives.
Related FAQs About Barack Obama
Barack Obama, born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and an American mother, became the first African American President of the United States. He gained political fame through community organizing in Chicago and was reelected in 2012, and completed two historic terms. His legacy is defined by landmark policies like the Affordable Care Act and his role as a statesman of color.