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*Barack Obama was born on this date in 1961. He is an African American lawyer, politician and activist. He is also the first Black person elected as President of the United States of America.
From Ohau Hawaii, he is the son of economist Barack Obama, Sr. of Kenya and S. Ann Dunham of Kansas. Both 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 Baskin-Robbins in town. After graduating from Punahou School with honors, Obama went on to study 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 African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama returned to his adopted hometown of Chicago in 1992 and to organized an aggressive election effort for the Bill Clinton presidential campaign. His talents gained him a seat at a local civil rights law firm and became a lecturer of constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Obama 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.
Obama is married and has two children. Regarded as a staunch liberal during his tenure in the legislature, he helped to author 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 successfully 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 not to due to family and business considerations. Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. This set in motion his rise as a political force of the Democratic party. As he continued to write, 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 the nominee of a major political party.
The Associated Press
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