Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (1961-)
Barack Obama is not only the 44th and the current President of the United States; he also became the first African-American president in U.S. history when he was elected on November 5, 2008 and inaugurated on January 20, 2009 and he won the Nobel Peace Prize that same year.
BACKGROUND: Obama was born on the 4th of August in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, thereby also being the first president who was born there.
His father Barack Hussein Obama Sr., who is from Kenya and his mother Ann Dunham, who is from Kansas got divorced in 1964, so Obama Jr. was mostly raised by his grandparents from his mother’s side. Unfortunately, right before his greatest political victory, winning the presidential election in 2008, his beloved grandmother passed away due to cancer.
Barack Obama’s life story is the typical American tale – he was raised in a middle-class household and brought up with classic American values, which taught him that it takes hard work and a strong education to get ahead in life and to give back to the community.
FAMILY: Barack Obama has been married to Michelle Obama (formerly Robinson) since October, 1992 and they have two children – their daughters Malia Ann Obama (born in 1999) and Natasha “Sasha” Obama (born in 2001).
EDUCATION: In 1979 Barack Obama received his high school diploma (with honors) and thereafter he studied at the Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years. By means of scholarships and student loans, Obama worked his way through college and went to New York in 1981 to continue his studies there. In 1983 Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University, where he studied political sciences with an emphasis on international relations, and got his Bachelor’s Degree. In 1991 he graduated from Harvard Law School and received his doctorate degree. There he was the first African-American editor and president of the student run law journal, the Harvard Law Review.
In between (in 1985) in he lived in Chicago, did community work with churches, and after he graduated from Harvard Law, he came back to the windy city, where he not only stayed active in community work, but also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, practiced civil-rights law and started being politically active by helping to lead a voter registration drive.
PROFESSIONS: Teacher, Lawyer, Politician, i.e. U.S. Senator, President of the United States.
POLITICS: Democrat (political party), Member of State Senate in Illinois (1996-2004), U.S. Senator (2005-2008). Barack Obama’s political actions during his years as a senator for the Illinois State Senate include cutting taxes, developing health care and passing an ethics reform. As a U.S. Senator he passed a lobbying reform and ensured more transparency in federal spending, for example.
PRESIDENCY: With a landslide Barack Obama (365 electoral votes) won the election against the Republican candidate John McCain (173 electoral votes) on November 5, 2008, thereby making history. Obama’s Vice President is Joseph “Joe” Biden, Jr.
Politically the main issues and policies of Obama’s concern are the economic crisis and health care.
In 2012 Barack Obama won a second term in the White House defeating republican canidate Mitt Romney.
Typical trademarks of Barack Obama’s personality are his impassioned, some may say idealistic, speeches and his particularly distinct way of speaking. Also, when he makes public appearances, he tends to roll up his sleeves and join in when there is work to be done. He can be described as charismatic as well as passionate about his beliefs and convictions. Especially his politics for peace and the immediate withdrawal of the troops from Iraq as well as his social politics made him popular. After all, in 2009 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.Back