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Barack Obama Biography

Posted On November 30th, 2009 By Celebrity Biographies

Barack Hussein Obama

Barack Hussein Obama

Barack Obama was born as ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ on August 4, 1961. He is currently serving as the 44th president of United States. He is the first president to be born in Hawaii, including being the first from the African-American origin. His father Barack Obama, Sr. belonged to the Luo ethnicity of Kenya and his mother, Stanley Ann Durham belonged to Wichita, Kansas. Barack was commonly called ‘Barry’ throughout his childhood and ‘Hussein’ is the middle name since his father adopted Islam, but they were originally Christians.

Early Life

His parents met each other during college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father studied as a foreign student. His parents separated when Barack Obama was two years old and later divorced in 1964. His mother then brought him to stay with her at her parent’s house in Manoa district. In the meantime, his father graduated with a ‘Masters in Economics’ degree from the Harvard University and went back to Kenya. Barack has five half brothers and two half-sisters from his father’s other marriage. His father later became the ‘finance minister’ of Kenya and died in the year 1982 out of a car accident. Obama met his father only once before his death in 1971. On the other hand, Obama’s mother got married to another Indonesian student from the Hawaii University called Lolo Soetoro. His mother then took him to Jakarta, Indonesia along with his step-father in the year 1967.

Education

During his stay in Indonesia he attended all local Indonesian schools and soon after, he moved with his grandparents in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama has admitted that he had a struggling childhood trying to find out answers about his multi racial and multicultural heritage. He used to find it complex to recognize such enormous differences between the skin colours of his father and his mother. He has also admitted of using marijuana, cocaine and alcohol during his teenage years.

Barack moved to Los Angeles after high school and studied for two years at the Occidental College. He then moved on to the Columbia College in New York where he majored in Political Science in 1983 along with a speciality in International relations. After spending four years in New York, Obama moved to Chicago and started working at the Business International Corporation with the NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group). He also worked as a Community organizer for a church based community organization called the ‘Developing Communities Project’. He worked as a director of this organisation for four years from 1985 to 1988. This is exactly where he got his organisational skills from and later travelled to Europe and Kenya for the first time.

The Law

He entered Harvard Law School in late 1988 because he felt that law was a medium that could facilitate community organization and activism. In 1990, which is his second year at college, he was chosen to be the editor of the Law Review. He worked as a training associate at ‘Sidley and Austin’ law firm while still in law school in 1989. This is where he met his wife Michelle Robinson, who was also a lawyer in that firm. He later worked at ‘Hopkins and Sutter’ in the year 1990 and then graduated from Harvard in 1991. He moved back to Illinois, Chicago and worked a civil rights lawyer. He was offered to write a book on racial relations by the University of Chicago and was also offered a fellowship from the university. Obama got married in the year 1992 and his mother Ann died of ovarian and uterine cancer in 1994. The book was published in the year 1995 with a name ‘Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance’ and ended up winning the Grammy for the audio version of this book. He occasionally taught Constitutional Law at the university and was a lecturer from 1992 to 1996; however he was a senior lecturer at the university until 2004. He was also on the board of directors for several organisations such as ‘Chicago Lawyer’s Committee’, ‘Chicago Annenberg Challenge’, ‘Woods Fund of Chicago’, ‘Lugenia Burns Hope Centre’ and ‘The Centre of Neighbourhood Technology’.

Personal Life

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama had their first daughter in 1998 named ‘Malia Ann’ and second daughter ‘Sasha’ in 2001. He published his second book called the ‘Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream’ in October 2006 and also won the Grammy for the audio version of this book. He is a talented writer and a dedicated basketball player. He is a major supporter of Chicago Bears and Chicago White Sox. Although he was raised in Islamic faith, Obama is an atheist by choice and his current family follows Christianity.

The Journey

He had organized largest voter registration drives in the 1992 election under the ‘Project Vote’. His work in this project led him to run for the Illinois State Senate and he was finally elected in November, 1996. With the U.S. senator Paul Simon, Obama passed the toughest campaign finance law in 1998. From the year 1997 to 2004, he went on to serve three terms in the Illinois State Senate. He lost to Bobby Rush in the year 2000, which was a primary run for U.S. House of Representatives. , he passed legislation to expand healthcare in the year 2003 to cover 70,000 children and extended health insurance to uninsured parents. Barack Obama created Illinois Earned Income tax credit that offered tax relief and also worked on several other legislation.

He came into national limelight on July 2004, with a motivational speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he openly condemned the administration policies of Bush on the Iraq War. His vocational skills are often compared to that of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther. He started thinking about running for U.S. Senate by middle of 2002 and later announced his candidacy in the year 2003. He won the election on 2nd November, 2004 and finally made it to the US Senate. He became the fifth African American senator in the history of United States and resigned from the Illinois State Senate. Obama held minority appointments till 2006 and took major assignments in 2007. He personally visited Iraq to witness the war and introduced a legislation to end the war in 2007. He sponsored a total of 136 bills in the Senate, out of which two of them have been officially announced as laws in the US Government.

Barack Obama declared his candidacy for the ‘Democratic Presidential’ nomination in February 2007 and out of all the candidates that had filed their nominations, the only two left were Barack Obama and Senator Hilary Clinton. Obama became the presumptive nominee on the 3rd of June 2008. Obama accepted the nomination in August 2008 against the republican nominee, John McCain. Thousands of supporters witnessed the historic win on November 4th, 2008.


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