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Fri, 08.04.1961

Barack Obama, Politician born

Barack Obama

*Barack Obama was born on this date in 1961. He is a Black lawyer, politician, and activist.

From Ohau, Hawaii, he is the son of Black African economist Barack Obama, Sr. of Kenya, and white-American S. Ann Dunham of Kansas.  His parents were students at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  At the age of two, his parents divorced, and Obama's mother re-married and moved the family to Indonesia for a couple of years.  But Obama returned to Hawaii to be raised by his grandmother in downtown Honolulu.  He was enrolled in the fifth grade at Punahou School and got his first job at a local Baskin-Robbins.  After graduating from Punahou School with honors, Obama studied at Columbia University in New York City, majoring in political science.

He then moved to Chicago, Illinois, and took up community organizing.  He left briefly to study law at Harvard University, where he became the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Obama returned to his adopted hometown of Chicago in 1992 to organize an aggressive election effort for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign.  His talents earned him a seat at a local civil rights law firm, and he became a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago. He still serves as a professor there.  In 1995 he published his memoir, "Dreams from My Father." One year later, Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate from the south side of Chicago.  He served as chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee.

He is married to Michelle Robinson Obama and has two children.  Regarded as a staunch liberal during his tenure in the legislature, he helped authorize a state-earned income tax credit providing benefits to the poor.  He also pursued laws that extended health coverage to Illinois residents who could not afford insurance. Speaking up for leading gay and lesbian advocacy groups, he passed bills to increase funding for AIDS prevention and care programs.

In the 2004 Senate race, his early opponent was businessman and educator Jack Ryan and Chicago Bears former coach Mike Ditka: both opted out due to family and business considerations. Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.  This set his rise as a political force in the Democratic party.  He continued to write, and in 2006 he published  "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream."

In February 2007, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States of America.  On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the 2118 delegate mark and became the Democratic presumptive nominee. Obama was the first African American to be a major political party nominee.

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama became the first Black man to be elected president of the United States of America.  He served two terms and has remained a relevant community and political resource for America since leaving office.

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