The Brief Biography of Barack Obama

The fortieth president of the United States, Barack Obama, and the country’s first African-American president. In 2008 through 2012, he was elected to two terms. Obama was born and reared in Hawaii, the son of Kenyan and Kansas parents. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and his law degree from Harvard Law School when he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2004 after serving in the Illinois State Senate. Malia and Sasha Obama, his two kids, are the result of his marriage to Michelle Obama. Also, get to know the children of Barack Obama here. 

Early Life 

Barack Obama II’s father, also named Barack Hussein Obama, grew up as a member of the Luo ethnicity in a small village in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He got a scholarship to the University of Hawaii to study economics, where he met and married Ann Dunham, a white woman from Wichita, Kansas. His father operated on oil rigs during the Great Depression and served in the United States Army during World War II before moving his family to Hawaii in 1959. In Honolulu, Barack Hussein Obama Jr., Barack and Ann’s son, was born on August 4, 1961.

Obama’s parents later divorced, and Barack Sr. returned to Kenya. He would only see his son once more before passing away in a car accident in 1982. In 1965, Ann remarried. In the late 1960s, Ann and her new husband, an Indonesian named Lolo Soetoro, moved to Jakarta with their young son, where Ann worked at the US embassy. Maya Soetoro Ng, Obama’s half-sister, was born in Jakarta in 1970. Read more about Barack Obama’s childhood, education and careers here. 


Barack Obama moved back to Hawaii when he was ten years old to live with his maternal grandparents. Since he wrote in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, he attended the Punahou School, an elite private school where he first began to understand the tensions inherent in his mixed racial background. Obama moved to the University in New York Columbia after two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he earned a degree in political science in 1983.

In 1991, he received a magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He was the very first Black editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review while at Harvard.

Community Organizer and Attorney

After a two-year stint, incorporate research. On the Public Interest Research Group in New York City, Obama relocated to Chicago. He worked as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project, a church-based organization. Obama spent the next several years working with low-income residents in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood and the Altgeld Gardens community housing development on the city’s predominantly Black South Side. Obama later described the experience as the prestigious institution he attended in 1988.

Since working as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin, Obama met his future wife, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, a fellow Harvard Law School graduate. On October 3, 1992, he married Michelle Obama at Trinity United Church of Christ. 

From 1992 to 2003, Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School.

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Barack Obama’s political career began in 1996 when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate as a liberal from the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park. Despite Republican control of the state senate during his tenure, Obama garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats in drafting legislation on ethics and health care reform. He worked with law enforcement officials to require videotaping interrogations and confessions in all capital cases. Obama helped create a state earned income tax credit that benefited the working poor. He also promoted subsidies for early childhood education programs and worked with law enforcement officials to filming interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

Re-elected in 1998 and 2002, Obama also ran unsuccessfully in the 2000 Democratic primary for the seat held by popular four-term incumbent Bobby Rush in the United States House of Representatives. As a state senator, Obama was a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush’s push to war in Iraq. In October 2002, he spoke out against a resolution authorizing force against Iraq at a rally in Chicago’s Federal Plaza.

Entry into Illinois Politics

Obama’s advocacy work prompted him to run as a Democrat for a seat in the Illinois State Senate in 1996. As a state senator, he collaborated with Democrats and Republicans to draft ethics legislation and expand health care and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also established a state earned-income tax credit for low-income workers. After several death-row inmates were found innocent, Obama worked with law enforcement officials as chairman of the Illinois Health and Human Services Committee to require videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

Obama ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic in 2002 primary for the seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush in the United States House of Representatives. Undaunted, he formed a campaign committee in 2002 and began fundraising for a seat in the United States Senate in 2004. Obama started to assess his chances for a Senate victory with the assistance of political consultant David Axelrod.

Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Obama was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s push to invade Iraq. In October 2002, Obama was still a state senator when he spoke out against a resolution authorizing force against Iraq at a rally in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. The Iraq War began in 2003, despite his protests.


When Obama declared his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 in February 2007, he made headlines. Obama was in a tight race with Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady and then-U.S. senator from New York. After obtaining a sufficient number of committed delegates during the primaries, Obama was declared the Democratic Party’s probable nominee on June 3, 2008. Clinton offered her complete support to Obama throughout his campaign.

The inauguration of Barack Obama was on January 20, 2009. When he assumed office, he inherited a worldwide economic slump, two continuing foreign conflicts, and the United States’ lowest-ever international favorability rating.

When US Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the oath of office to Obama on January 21, 2013, he formally began his second term. In his inaugural address to a crowd assembled in front of the United States Capitol building, Obama urged the nation to take action on issues such as climate change, health care, and marriage equality. To learn more about Barack Obama and his impact on pop culture, open the link.