He is the first African American to hold the office.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.
Several events earned Obama national attention during his campaign to represent the State of Illinois in the United States Senate in 2004, including his victory in the March 2004 Illinois Democratic primary and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won the Senate election in November 2004, serving until his resignation following his 2008 presidential election victory. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close race in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party’s nomination. In the 2008 presidential election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In April 2011, he announced that he would be running for re-election in 2012.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in response to the 2007–2009 recession in the United States. Other major domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, Obama ended US military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support legalizing same-sex marriage.
In late 1988, Obama entered Harvard Law School. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, and president of the journal in his second year.During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990. After graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.] Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations, which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father
In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. In January 2007, Obama and Senator Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007. Obama also introduced Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, and the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007, neither of which was signed into law.
Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to add safeguards for personality-disorder military discharges. This amendment passed the full Senate in the spring of 2008. He sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran’s oil and gas industry, which has not passed committee; and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism.Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.
“You cannot grow this economy from the top down. You grow this economy from the middle class out. We’re not going to go back to what we were doing before. We’re moving forward. And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.”
President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4th, 1961, to a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas. Growing up, he was also raised by his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become vice president at a local bank.
After working his way through school with the help of scholarship money and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked as an organizer to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to Harvard Law School, where he was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, President Obama went on to lead one of the most successful voter registration drives in state history, and continued his legal work as a civil rights lawyer and a professor teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
Barack Obama was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. During his time in Springfield, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, he reached across the aisle to pass the farthest-reaching lobbyist reform in a generation, lock up the world’s most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by tracking federal spending online.
Barack Obama as sworn in as president on January 20th, 2009. He took office in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when our economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. He acted immediately to get our economy back on track. Today, the private sector has added back more than 5 million jobs. There’s more work to do, but we’re on the right track.
In his first term, the President passed the landmark Affordable Care Act, helping to put quality health care within reach for more Americans. He ended the war in Iraq and is working to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan, passed historic Wall Street reform to make sure taxpayers never again have to bail out big banks, and cut taxes for every American worker—putting $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical family. He’s fought for equal rights and a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. And he’s made a college education more affordable for millions of students and their families.
The President believes an economy built to last starts with a strong and growing middle class—that’s why he has a plan to create jobs and restore economic security to working families. He’s been driven by the basic values that make our country great: America prospers when we’re all in it together, when hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded, and when everyone—from Main Street to Wall Street—does their fair share and plays by the same rules.