Barack Hussein Obama
- Democrat; vice president was Joseph Biden
- Born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii
- Married Michelle Robinson Obama and they had two daughters, Malia, Sasha
- Attended Occidental College, Los Angeles, transferred to Columbia University, NY then Harvard Law School.
- A University professor, Community Organizer, Political Activist, Writer, Illinois State Senator, US Senator.
- He was elected the 44th President of the United States in 2008, the first African American to assume the presidency.
- After serving as US Senator from Illinois from 2005-2008, he won the Democratic nomination at age 47 and defeated Republican John McCain in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, defeating Republican Mitt Romney.
- With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, Obama was born in Hawaii August 4, 1961, raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
- After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants. He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive and teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
- He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1997-2005, before being elected to the US Senate.
- As president, he signed a number of landmark and controversial pieces of legislation, including Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as “Obamacare”) In the wake of the Great Recession, he also championed laws to reform Wall Street and stimulate the economy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- He worked to address climate change concerns domestically and abroad, bringing him into conflict with many in the American energy industry and the coal industry, particularly over restrictions on coal-fired power plants.
- In foreign policy, he increased US troop levels in Afghanistan and ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi. Gadaffi was killed by NATO-assisted forces, and he also ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
- Obama was named the 2009 Novel Peace Prize laureate, joining three other presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter) in winning that honor.
Compiled by Phyllis Stowers, Lifestyles Editor