On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States. He officially became the first African-American president when he was inaugurated
on January 20, 2009.
Barack Obama - Childhood and Education:
Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He moved to Jakarta in 1967 where he lived for four years. At the age of 10, he returned to Hawaii and was raised by his maternal grandparents. After high school he attended first Occidental College and then Columbia University where he graduated with a degree in political science. Five years later he attended Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
Father: Barack Obama, Sr. - a Kenyan native. He rarely saw his son after his divorce from Obama's Mother.
Stepfather: Lolo Soetoro – an Indonesian geologist.
Mother: Ann Dunham – An anthropologist from Wichita, Kansas.
Wife: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson - a lawyner from Chicago, Illinois.
Children: Malia Ann and Sasha
Career Before the Presidency:
Upon graduating from Columbia University, Barack Obama worked first at Business International Corporation and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a non-partisan political organization. He then moved to Chicago and became director of the Developing Communities Project. After law school, Obama wrote his memoir, Dreams from My Father. He worked as a community organizer along with teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years. He also worked as a lawyer during this same period. In 1996, Obama was elected to be the junior senator from Illinois.
Barack Obama began his run to be the Democratic nominee for president in February, 2007. He was nominated after a very close primary race against key opponent Hillary Clinton
, wife of former president Bill Clinton
. Obama chose Joe Biden to be his running mate. His main opponent was Republican contender, John McCain. In the end, Obama won more than the required 270 electoral votes.
Barack Obama is the first African-American to not only be nominated by a major party but also to win the presidency of the United States. He ran as an agent of change. His true impact and the significance of his presidency will not be determined for many years to come.