He was elected President on November 4, 2008, as a Democrat. His Vice-President running mate was Joseph Biden. Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the USA.
Obama was born in Hawaii. His father, also called Barack Obama, was a college student from Kogelo, a village in western Kenya, a country in Africa. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They met when they were both students at the University of Hawaii. His parents divorced in 1964, and his mother and maternal grandparents raised Barack. In 1967, Obama's mother married Lolo Soetoro, and moved the family to Indonesia. His half sister, Maya Soetoro, was born on Aug. 15, 1970. In 1971, Obama moved back to Hawaii to go to school, living with his grandparents. That year, Obama's father visited him in Hawaii; Barack would never see his father again.
After graduating high school in 1979, Obama attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. After two years, Obama transferred to Columbia University (in New York, New York), graduating in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. His father had died the previous year (1982) in a car accident in Nairobi, Kenya.
In 1985, Obama moved to Chicago, Illinois, and worked as a community organizer, helping people improve their lives and become voters. In 1987, Obama travelled to Kenya, visiting his father's home town and meeting many of his relatives.
The next year, 1988, Obama enrolled at Harvard Law school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review (a very prestigious magazine about law, edited by Harvard law students) in 1990, and graduated in 1991.
After graduating from law school, Obama moved back to Chicago, got married and entered politics. Michelle Robinson (an attorney) and Obama married in 1992; they have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Obama's mother died of cancer in 1995. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago from 1992 until 2004. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, 1998, and 2002 (he lost a primary election for Congress in 2000). Obama was elected to the US Senate in 2004 (Dem-IL). Obama has written two books, Dreams from My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006).
In the summer of 2008, Obama became the first African-American to be the presidential candidate of a major political party (the Democrats). On November 4, 2008, Obama won the general election, defeating John McCain (a Republican) to become the 44th President of the United States. His presidential inauguration was on January 20, 2009. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2009.
A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.'
After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.
Al Qaeda is still a threat. We cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything is going to be OK.
America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do.
And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation.
And so our goal on health care is, if we can get, instead of health care costs going up 6 percent a year, it's going up at the level of inflation, maybe just slightly above inflation, we've made huge progress. And by the way, that is the single most important thing we could do in terms of reducing our deficit. That's why we did it.
As a nuclear power - as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon - the United States has a moral responsibility to act.
As I've said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis' future.
But if you - if what - the reports are true, what they're saying is, is that as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that's going to increase our costs, we knew that.
But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Community colleges play an important role in helping people transition between careers by providing the retooling they need to take on a new career.
Contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market.
Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you feel the impact.
Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.
I can make a firm pledge, under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.
I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator.
I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That's what the American people called for in November, and that's what we intend to deliver.
1961 Born Aug. 4, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham
1964 Parents divorce
1967 Obama's mother married Lolo Soetoro, moved family to Indonesia
1970 Sister Maya Soetoro born, Aug. 15
1971-1979 Obama moved back to Hawaii for 5th grade through high school, lived mostly with grandparents
1971 Obama Sr. visited his son in Hawaii
1979 Attended Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, for 2 years
1981 Transferred to Columbia University, NY
1982 Father died in car crash at age 46, in Nairobi, Kenya
1983 Received BA in Political Science from Columbia Univ., worked in New York City
1985 Moved to Chicago, IL, worked as community organizer
1987 Visited Kenya and his father's grave
1988 Enrolled at Harvard Law School
1990 Elected editor of Harvard Law Review (first African-American elected to the position)
1991 Graduated from Harvard Law School
1992 Married attorney Michelle Robinson, Oct. 18
1993 Began lecturing at University of Chicago Law School and working at a law firm
1995 Mother died of cancer, age 52
1996 Elected to the Illinois state senate (first term)
1998 Re-elected to the Illinois state senate (second term)
1999 Daughter Malia born
2000 Lost Illinois Democratic primary election for US House of Representatives seat
2001 Daughter Sasha born
2002 Re-elected to the Illinois state senate (third term)
2005 Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father, published
2004 Elected to the US Senate (IL-Dem)
2006 Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope, published
2008 Won Democratic Party presidential primary election process, June. Officially nominated by the Democratic party at August Convention (first African-American to win a major party nomination)
2008 Elected 44th President of the USA on Nov. 4 (first African-American elected to the position)
2009 Inaugurated as President of the USA on Jan. 20
2009 Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, October 9
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters [Hardcover]In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America's children.
Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.
This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation's founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever.
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage) [Mass Market Paperback]Barack Obama's first book, Dreams from My Father, was a compelling and moving memoir focusing on personal issues of race, identity, and community. With his second book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama engages themes raised in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, shares personal views on faith and values and offers a vision of the future that involves repairing a "political process that is broken" and restoring a government that has fallen out of touch with the people. We had the opportunity to ask Senator Obama a few questions about writing, reading, and politics--see his responses below. --Daphne Durham (Amazon)
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]
Elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama was offered a book contract, but the intellectual journey he planned to recount became instead this poignant, probing memoir of an unusual life. Born in 1961 to a white American woman and a black Kenyan student, Obama was reared in Hawaii by his mother and her parents, his father having left for further study and a return home to Africa. So Obama's not-unhappy youth is nevertheless a lonely voyage to racial identity, tensions in school, struggling with black literature?with one month-long visit when he was 10 from his commanding father. After college, Obama became a community organizer in Chicago. He slowly found place and purpose among folks of similar hue but different memory, winning enough small victories to commit himself to the work - he's now a civil rights lawyer there. Before going to law school, he finally visited Kenya; with his father dead, he still confronted obligation and loss, and found wellsprings of love and attachment.