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MAIN Arrow to People in the News People in the News Arrow to Barack Obama Barack Obama

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Kenyan father and white Kansas-born mother.

He later graduated from the local Punahou School before embarking on a political science degree at Columbia University.

Moving to Chicago, he helped organize local job training programs in poor neighborhoods.

Later, he decided to return to school to pursue a law degree at Harvard where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, graduating magna cum laude in 1991.

His law career began with a return to Chicago, working as a civil rights lawyer, then as a teacher of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1993 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Barack Obama with mother, Ann Dunham
Barack Obama as a toddler
with mother, Ann Dunham.

It was in 2004 while running for an open seat in the U.S. Senate when Obama delivered his famous at the Democratic National Convention, and overnight became a national political figure for his stirring "Audacity of Hope" keynote address in which he proclaimed "...there is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America." .

His subsequent landslide senate victory in November set the stage for a presidential run, and in 2007 Obama announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election in Springfield, Illinois.

With a hard-fought primary battle against Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton -- the first woman presidential candidate -- Obama's appeal for both national unification and international diplomacy made the attractive and charismatic orator the most popular grass-roots presidential candidate in a generation.

Adding to a number of Barack Obama campaign "firsts", his campaign was also noteworthy for revolutionizing the way presidential candidates raise donations — outspending rivals by raising millions in small donations from supporters via the Internet.

Following a hard-fought battle against the Republican rival John McCain, the stage was was set for Obama's history-making victory as the first elected African-American President of the United States of America in 2008.

Personal life

Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters, Malia, second from left, and Sasha, pose for
an official family portrait in 2009.

Barack Obama has been married to Michelle Robinson Obama since 1992 and together they have two daughters, Malia (born 1999) and Sasha (born 2001).

Since the election of their father to the nation's highest office, the two girls have not unexpectedly become media darlings but have surprisingly taken their father's notoriety in stride.

His private grief suffered over the loss of his beloved grandmother in September, Obama made a sudden departure from the campaign trail to fly to the side of 85-year old Madelyn Dunham, who had fallen seriously ill in her home state of Hawaii.

She passed away a day before Election Day 2008 and would never share in his historic, barrier-breaking victory as America's first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

More about President Barack Obama around the Web:


Barack Obama - Wikipedia

BBC Profile : Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. - Presidential acceptance speech, November 4, 2008.

"We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our principle goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained."

"We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.

• "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America."

• "As Americans, we can take enormous pride in the fact that courage has been inspired by our own struggle for freedom, by the tradition of democratic law secured by our forefathers and enshrined in our Constitution. It is a tradition that says all men are created equal under the law and that no one is above it."

• "What Washington needs is adult supervision."

• 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.

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