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Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. He is the only president to have been born outside of the United States’ 48 contiguous states. He was born to an African father and an American mother of European heritage. Ann Dunham (1942–1995), his mother, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was primarily of English origin, with some German, Irish, Scottish, Swiss, and Welsh lineage thrown in for good measure. Ancestry.com discovered in July 2012 that Dunham was likely descended from John Punch, an enslaved African man who resided in the Virginia Colony during the seventeenth century. Barack Obama Sr. (1936–1982), Obama’s father, was a married Luo Kenyan from Nyang’oma Kogelo. Barack and his mother relocated to the University of Washington in Seattle for a year in late August 1961, only weeks after he was born.
The older Obama finished his undergraduate degree in economics in Hawaii during this time, graduating in June 1962. He departed to pursue a master’s degree in economics at Harvard University, where he was awarded a scholarship. In March 1964, Barack Obama’s parents separated. In 1964, Obama Sr. returned to Kenya, where he married for the third time and worked as a Senior Economic Analyst in the Ministry of Finance for the Kenyan government. Before he was killed in a car accident in 1921, he only saw his son in Hawaii once, at Christmas in 1971.
Obama moved from New York to Chicago two years after graduating from Columbia University, where he was hired as the director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organisation that began with eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago’s South Side. From June 1985 until May 1988, he worked as a community organiser there. In Altgeld Gardens, he assisted in the establishment of a job training programme, a college preparatory tutoring programme, and a tenants’ rights group. Obama also worked with the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organising organisation, as a consultant and lecturer. He flew to Europe for the first time in mid-1988, for three weeks, and later for five weeks. In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate, succeeding Democratic State Senator Alice Palmer from the 13th District, which at the time included the Chicago South Side communities of Hyde Park–Kenwood, South Shore, and Chicago Lawn. Following his election, Obama was able to get bipartisan backing for measures reforming ethics and health-care rules. He sponsored legislation that raised low-income employees’ tax credits, negotiated welfare reform, and advocated for higher childcare subsidies. Obama backed Republican Governor Ryan’s payday loan laws and predatory mortgage lending regulations as co-chairman of the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in 2001. Obama commissioned a survey in May 2002 to gauge his chances in the 2004 U.S. Senate election. By August 2002, he had established a campaign committee, begun gathering cash, and hired political media expert David Axelrod. In January 2003, Obama publicly declared his campaign. Obama was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. Obama spoke out against the Iraq War at the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War protest on October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorising the war. In March 2003, he spoke at another anti-war protest, telling the gathering that “it’s not too late” to end the war.
On January 3, 2005, Obama was sworn in as a senator, making him the lone member of the Congressional Black Caucus in the Senate. Based on an examination of all Senate votes from 2005 to 2007, CQ Weekly labelled him a “loyal Democrat.” On November 13, 2008, Obama stated that he will leave his Senate position on November 16, 2008, before the commencement of the lame-duck session, in order to focus on his presidential transition. Obama declared his campaign for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. The location chosen for the announcement was important because it was also the site of Abraham Lincoln’s landmark “House Divided” address in 1858. In a campaign that projected themes of optimism and change, Obama stressed topics like as ending the Iraq War quickly, boosting energy independence, and overhauling the health-care system. Obama started his 2012 reelection campaign with a video titled “It Begins with Us,” which he released on his website and filed election paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on April 4, 2011. Obama ran nearly uncontested in the Democratic Party presidential primaries as the incumbent president, and by April 3, 2012, he had won the 2778 convention delegates required to clinch the Democratic candidacy. On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda in his first few days in office, instructing the US military to create preparations to remove troops from Iraq. He ordered the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay to be closed, but Congress blocked it by refusing to allocate the necessary funding and prohibiting the transfer of any Guantanamo detainees to the United States or other nations. Obama loosened the restrictions on presidential records’ confidentiality. President George W. Bush’s reinstatement of President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy barring government assistance to foreign family planning organisations was likewise rescinded. During Obama’s first two years in office, he named two women to the Supreme Court. On May 26, 2009, he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to succeed retiring Associate Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court; she was confirmed on August 6, 2009, making her the first Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic origin. On May 10, 2010, Obama nominated Elena Kagan to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. For the first time in American history, she was confirmed on August 5, 2010, increasing the total number of women on the Supreme Court to three.
Personal Profile of Barack Obama
- Name: Barack Obama
- Date of Birth: 4 August 1961
- Age: 59 years
- Birth Sign: Leo
- Nationality: American
- Parents: Barack Obama Sr., Stanley Ann Dunham
- Siblings: Abo Obama, George Obama, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, Bernard Obama
- Birth Place/City: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
- Profession: Politician
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