Barack Obama

Barack Obama

44th President, 2009-2016

Early Life and Pre-presidency

White House portrait of Barack Obama, 2009

White House portrait of Barack Obama, 2009

  • Born Barack Hussein Obama II on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Parents: Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham. Half-sister: Maya Soetoro-Ng.
  • His parents divorced and his mother remarried Lolo Soetoro, and Indonesian graduate student. The family lived in Indonesia from when Obama was 2 to 10 years old. Obama went back to Hawaii to study and lived with his maternal grandparents.
  • Studied at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and Besuki Public School in Indonesia, then moved back to Hawaii to attend Punahou School from 1971 to 1979 (fifth grade to high school).
  • Attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 1979 then transferred to Columbia University in New York City in 1981, graduating in 1983.
  • Worked in New York after graduation then was hired by a community organization in Chicago, Illinois where he worked from 1985 to 1988.
  • Entered Harvard Law School in 1988, graduating magna cum laude in 1991.
  • At Harvard Law School, he became the first African–American to be elected President of the Harvard Law Reviewin 1990.
  • Became a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago Law School in 1991, then a lecturer of constitutional law from 1992 to 2004.
  • Married Michelle Robinson (1964–) on October 3, 1992. Children: Malia Ann (1998–) and Natasha, also known as Sasha, (2001–).
  • Joined a Chicago law firm in 1993 and worked there until 2004. Voluntarily inactivated his license in 2007 to avoid paying the annual fees and taking the required continuing education classes.
  • Elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and served from 1997 to 2004.
  • Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and served from 2005 to 2008.
  • Nominated by the Democratic Party as its Presidential candidate in the 2008 election with Joe Biden as his running mate.
  • Won the 2008 Presidential election with 52.7% of the popular vote and the majority of the electoral votes and becoming the first African–American to be elected U.S. President.

Presidency

President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010

President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010

  • Took his oath of office on January 20, 2009 at the West Front, U.S. Capitol.
  • When Obama began his term, a severe economic depression was in place with high unemployment rates, rapidly declining housing prices, and banks and other financial institutions in grave danger of collapsing.
  • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 in January. The law amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with regards to equal-pay discrimination.
  • Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February. The law was a stimulus package worth more than $800 billion that created jobs through infrastructure projects, expanded unemployment benefits, and provided tax cuts.
  • Authorized the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq beginning June 2009. The withdrawal of troops was completed by December 2011.
  • Awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act in March 2010. The laws provided universal health care for Americans.
  • Signed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010. The law made several changes to financial regulation in the United States.
  • Signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in December. The law provided a reprieve from tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush.
  • Signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 in December. The law allows homosexuals to openly serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • In March 2011, Obama made a televised address regarding U.S. participation in a NATO-led efforts in the fighting in Libya.
  • Authorized Operation Neptune Spear on May 2, 2011 that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan after U.S. Navy SEALS stormed the compound where he had been hiding.
  • Signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in August. The law averted a debt-ceiling crisis that would have caused the government to go into sovereign default.
  • Ran for re-election in the 2012 election and won with 51% of the popular vote and the majority of the electoral votes.
  • Signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in January 2013. The law addressed certain provisions in the Bush tax cuts that were set to expire.