Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was raised by his mother, Ann Dunham, and his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, after his parents divorced when he was two years old. Obama’s mother later married Lolo Soetoro, and they moved to Indonesia in 1967. Obama attended local Indonesian schools and received additional lessons via U.S. correspondence courses under his mother’s direction. However, he returned to Hawaii in 1971 to live with his grandparents and attended Punahou School, from which he graduated in 1979.
Early Life and Education
Barack Obama’s early life was marked by a diverse cultural background and experiences. He was born to a white American mother from Kansas, Ann Dunham, and a black Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr. After his parents divorced, Obama’s mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian man, and they moved to Indonesia when Obama was six years old. He lived in Indonesia for four years before returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.
Obama attended Punahou School in Hawaii, where he played varsity basketball and explored his identity as a black man in America. After high school, he went on to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Columbia University in New York City. Obama graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a degree in political science.
Community Organizing and Law School
After working for a year as a researcher with Business International Group in New York, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He joined the Developing Communities Project and focused on improving conditions in the Altgeld Gardens public housing project. Obama’s experience as a community organizer led him to pursue a law degree, as he realized the limitations of effecting change without legal knowledge.
In 1988, Obama enrolled at Harvard Law School, where he excelled as a student and became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating magna cum laude in 1991, Obama returned to Chicago and worked as an associate at the law firm Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, where he primarily worked on voting rights cases.
Political Career and Presidency
Barack Obama’s political career began in 1996 when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He served as a State Senator until 2004 when he was elected as the junior Senator from Illinois. In 2008, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States and went on to win the election, becoming the first African-American president in U.S. history. He was inaugurated as the 44th President on January 20, 2009.
During his presidency, Obama focused on domestic policy issues such as healthcare reform, economic recovery, and civil rights. He signed the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” into law in 2010, which aimed to improve access to healthcare coverage and end discrimination by insurance companies based on pre-existing conditions. Obama also implemented economic stimulus measures to combat the effects of the Great Recession.
On the foreign policy front, Obama sought to draw down American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and implemented a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He also worked towards nuclear non-proliferation, signing the New START Treaty with Russia and reaching a nuclear deal with Iran.
Barack Obama’s presidency ended on January 20, 2017, and he returned to private life with his wife, Michelle Obama. Since leaving office, Obama has focused on writing and public speaking. He has published several books, including his memoir “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.” Obama continues to be involved in political and social issues through his foundation, the Obama Foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Where was Barack Obama born?
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2. Who raised Barack Obama?
Barack Obama was primarily raised by his mother, Ann Dunham, and his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.
3. Where did Barack Obama go to school?
Barack Obama attended Punahou School in Hawaii for high school. He then went on to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Columbia University, where he graduated with a degree in political science.
4. What did Barack Obama do before becoming President?
Before becoming President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago and later as a lawyer specializing in civil rights and voting rights cases. He also served as a State Senator in Illinois and as a U.S. Senator from Illinois.
5. What has Barack Obama done since leaving office?
Since leaving office, Barack Obama has focused on writing and public speaking. He has published books, including his memoir “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.” Obama is also involved in various philanthropic and social initiatives through his foundation, the Obama Foundation.