Barack Obama Biography

By Staff

Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.

The name “Barack” means “one who is blessed.” And when Barack was young his family and friends called this blessed young boy “Barry” for short.

His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was from Kenya, and his mother, Ann Dunham, was from Kansas. His parents met at the University of Honolulu when they were students (his father was attending on scholarship).

Barack’s parents separated when he was two years old and then divorced when he was four, and his father eventually returned to Kenya. His mother later married another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, who was from Indonesia; and in 1967, Barack moved with his new stepfather and mother to Jakarta, where he lived from age six to ten.

When Barack was ten, he returned to Honolulu and lived with his grandparents, who took over parenting duties. While in Honolulu, Barack attended the renowned Punahou School until he graduated in 1979.

During this period, Barack was able to see his biological father, who returned to Honolulu for a brief visit in 1971. Sadly, that would be their last meeting as his father died in an automobile accident in 1982. (Barack would lose his mother to cancer 1995.)

After his 1979 high school graduation, Barack moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. He studied there for two years and then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in Political Science and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983.

After graduation, Barack worked in New York at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group before returning to Chicago, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group which worked to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods.

He entered Harvard Law School in 1988, where he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review in its 104-year history. He went on to receive his J.D. degree from Harvard in 1991 with magna cum laude honors.

He then returned to Chicago, directed a voter registration drive, and soon became a civil rights attorney and a lecturer on constitutional law; and in 1992, married the love of his life, Michelle.

And it was in Chicago in 1995 that Barack released his first best-selling book: “Dreams from My Father.” He was offered the book contract shortly after becoming the president of the Harvard Law Review. The book is a compelling memoir of his life.

Barack’s political career began with his election to the Illinois Senate in 1996, where he would serve from 1997 to 2004. In 2000, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives, but would go on to run for the U.S. Senate a few years later.

And while Barack was running for U.S. Senate, he was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: to give the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. And it was at that convention that Barack gave one of the most inspiring and moving political speeches ever delivered, and by the time the speech was over, Barack became a political heavyweight and an instant celebrity.

Barack went on to win his U.S. Senate race in a landslide, capturing 70% of the votes. And, riding a wave of strong popularity, published his second best-selling book in 2006, “The Audacity of Hope,” which expanded on the issues he touched on in his 2004 DNC speech.

On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States.

But of all of Barack’s achievements, nothing has made him prouder than becoming a father to his two wonderful girls: Malia (born 1999), and Sasha (born 2001).

We love you and support you Barack Obama!