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Full Name: Barack Hussein Obama II
Birth Date: August 4, 1961
Birth Place: Honolulu, Hawaii.
Height: 6’2 1/2″
Education: Local schools in Jakarta and Punahou School in Honolulu; graduate of Columbia University, NY(majored in political science) and Harvard Law School
Claim to fame: as the President of United States of America (1994)
Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, also named Barack Obama, was born and raised in Kenya where he herded goats with his own father… I guess he wasn’t too creative when naming his son..lol.. Ok, let’s carry on with the story..
Barack’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in a small town in Kansas. These two people, from very different backgrounds, probably never dreamed in their earliest years that their destinies will meet at the University of Hawaii which will later lead to the birth of the first African-American President of USA.
Barack had a pretty tough childhood as his parents separated and divorced when he was just a child. They separated when he was just two years old and they divorced in 1964. when he was at the age of four. Barack saw his birth father only once more before he died in Kenya in an automobile accident in 1982.
Barack’s mother Ann married an Indonesian student she met later at college in Hawaii. Barack’s stepfather Lolo Soetoro was recalled to his homeland as all the other Indonesian students that studied abroad when Suharto, a military leader, came to power in Indonesia in 1967. Ann and Barack also followed him to Indonesia. Barack attended local schools in Jakarta(Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School). He returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents(Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham) in Honolulu in 1971, and attended Punahou School(private college preparatory school). He graduated from highschool in 1979. Barack’s mother died of cancer in the year of 1995.
Obama recalled from his earliest years: “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” Obama had some dificulties in his childhood and as a young adult as he was a child of a multiracial heritage. He also spoke about using alchocol, marijuana and cocain as a teenager to answer the “big” fundamental questions of life. Barack’s quote: “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.” He stated at “2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency” in 2008 that using drugs through high school was his “greatest moral failure”.
Barack Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend “Occidental College” from where he transferred two years later at the age of 20 to “Columbia University” in New York City. He majored in NYC in political science with a specialization in international relations. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation, then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Obama put his law school and corporate career on hold to pursue humanitarian work in his and other communities after moving to Chicago in 1985 at the age of 25. His mother played a big role in this life changing decision as the values of empathy and service she taught him inspired and moved him to act in order to truly improve the lives of people in his and other communities. Such changes weren’t restricted locally to his community but were extended to changing the national laws and politics.
Barack Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988 where he was selected as an editor and later the first African-American president of the “Harvard Law Review”. His involvement in Harvard’s law journal that publishes eight regular annual issues led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations. The manuscript was published in 1995 under the name “Dreams from My Father”.
Finally, his work in law and politics led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years and sworn in as a senator on January 4, 2005. As a member of the Senate he worked with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state “Earned Income Tax Credit” and he also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education.
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. This placeand the choice of announcement of candidacy was thought of symbolic as the American president Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic “House Divided” speech in 1858 at that very place. Barack Obama proceeded to focus on the general election campaign against the Republican nominee Senator John McCain. In November 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency with 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain’s 45.7%. After winning he delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park.
Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” His entire life provided him with experiences from different social contexts and formed him into a strong and humanitarian oriented person which won the hearts and minds os hundreds of thousands Americans.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his, as the Nobel Committee said, “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”.
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