Fast Facts

  • Parents met while both attended the University of Hawaii. His father was the first African student to attend the university.
  • Parents separated when he was 2, as his father moved to Boston to attend graduate school at Harvard; they divorced in 1964. He would see his father only once more in his life, in 1971.
  • Mother remarried in 1967. Husband was an Indonesian student studying at the University of Hawaii. The family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, later that year.
  • In 1971, his mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents amid concerns for the quality of her son's education.
  • Upon graduation from high school, he moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. He transferred to Columbia University in 1981.
  • After graduating from Columbia, he worked in New York before moving to Chicago to become the director of the Developing Communities Project; helped establish numerous programs to benefit the South Side's underprivileged families.
  • In 1988, he left Chicago and entered Harvard Law School, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
  • Met his future wife, Michelle, when he worked at a Chicago law firm in June of 1989 and she was his mentor.
  • Served as a law-school professor at the University of Chicago from 1992 until 2004, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996.
  • Gained national prominence in 2004 thanks to his stirring performance as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention.
  • Announced his presidential candidacy on February 10, 2007. Became the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination after Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her campaign in June 2008.
  • Became the first black U.S. president following his victory in the 2008 election, in which he defeated John McCain by a 365-to-173 electoral-vote margin.
  • In 2009, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote international diplomacy. He became only the third sitting president to win the award, along with Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919).
  • Defeated Mitt Romney in 2012 to secure a second term as president.


  • 2005, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner
  • 2007, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner


  • Stanley Ann Dunham — Mother
  • Lolo Soetoro — Stepfather
  • Malia Ann Obama — Daughter
  • Barack Obama Sr. — Father
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng — Half Sister
  • Michelle Obama — Wife
  • Madelyn Dunham — Grandmother
  • Stanley Dunham — Grandfather
  • Natasha Obama — Daughter


  • Attended Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, United States; Columbia University, New York, New York, United States (BA in Political Science, 1983); Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States (JD, 1991)

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  • Birth Name: Barack Hussein Obama II
  • Birth Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • Profession: Politician

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