Facts About Barack Obama
by Brandon Cornett
On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America. It is the latest chapter in what has already been a very interesting life. Here are some interesting facts about President Barack Obama.
21 Interesting Facts
- Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961.
- Obama's parents met while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
- His father was originally from Kenya. His mother, Ann Dunham, was an anthropologist born in the United States. The couple separated when Barack was two years old and eventually divorced. Barack Obama's father moved back to Kenya following the divorce.
- Obama's mother eventually remarried and took the family to Indonesia (the home of her new husband) in 1967.
- Obama attended schools in Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) up until he was ten years old.
- After returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, he attended Punahou School and graduated from the high school in 1979.
- Barack Obama moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school and attended Occidental College (a private liberal arts college) for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City to major in political science.
- After college, Obama moved to Chicago and worked as a director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP).
- In 1988, Barack Obama began his studies at Harvard Law School. He became the editor of the Harvard Law Review and was eventually elected president of that legal journal. He graduated with honors in 1991.
- After college, Obama returned to Chicago, where he got involved with civil rights law and taught constitutional law.
- In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate.
- In 2001, Obama served as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. He would eventually hold assignments in many other committees during his first and second terms as a senator.
- He later sponsored a law that monitored racial profiling for civil rights purposes, and eventually made Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.
- In 2004, Obama was reelected to the Illinois State Senate.
- In 2005, he traveled to Russia with Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ill.) to renew anti-proliferation efforts (i.e., finding and securing nuclear weapons that have spread around the world).
- In February 2007, in front of the historic capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, Barack Obama announced that he would run for president.
- Over the years, he has been an active writer. He is the author of two best-selling books: Dreams from My Father in 1995, and The Audacity of Hope in 2006.
- Top contributors to the Obama presidential campaign include Goldman Sachs, University of California, Citigroup Inc., Harvard University, Moveon.org and Time Warner.
- Obama is known for refusing contributions from lobbyists and political action committees (PACs). According to DNC Chairman Howard Dean: "The American people's priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests."
- A July 2008 poll by Newsweek found that 12 percent of voters wrongfully believed that Obama is a Muslim, and some thought he was raised in a Muslim home. Barack Obama is a Christian. He was the son of an atheist father who thought religion was "mumbo jumbo," according to Barack. His mother was interested in all the world's religions but was an agnostic [again according to Barack].
- On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States.
I hope you've enjoyed these facts about Barack Obama — the man and the politician. It's important to learn as much about a political candidate, so you can make an informed decision come election time. I hope this list of Barack Obama facts has helped in that regard.
References: Much of this fact sheet was compiled from widely available information. I also referred to the book The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama (Three Rivers Press, 2006). There is also an inline citation (hyperlink) to a USA Today article.
About the Author
This fact sheet was provided by Brandon Cornett. Brandon is the creator of 21Facts.com. He is also a freelance writer and the author of many articles that can be found all over the Internet.
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