Barack Obama Biography & Net Worth

Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States and the country’s first African-American president. In 2008 and 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, where 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.

Barack Obama Early Life and Parents

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Barack Obama Sr, Obama’s father, is of Luo ancestry and was born in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Obama Sr. grew raised in Africa herding goats before winning a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and follow his dream of attending college in Hawaii.

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Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas, during WWII. Dunham’s father, Stanley, enrolled in the military after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and marched across Europe with General George Patton’s army. Madelyn Dunham, Dunham’s mother, went to work on a bomber manufacturing line. The couple studied on the G.I. Bill after the war, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and eventually settled in Hawaii after several moves.

Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Barack II was born six months after they married on February 2, 1961.

Soon after his birth, his father abandoned him, and the couple divorced two years later. Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student at the University of Hawaii, in 1965. Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born in 1970 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the family moved there a year later. After several incidences in Indonesia made Dunham fearful for her son’s safety and education, Obama was moved back to Hawaii at the age of ten to live with his maternal grandparents. They were eventually joined by his mother and half-sister.

Obama did not have a close relationship with his father when he was a child. Obama Sr. moved to Massachusetts when his son was still a baby to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University. After a few months of separation, Obama’s parents divorced in March 1964, when their son was two years old. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya shortly after.

Obama battled with his father’s absence during his youth, seeing him only once after his parents divorced, when Obama Sr. visited Hawaii for a brief period in 1971. “Nothing my mother or grandparents could tell me could change the fact that [my father] had departed paradise,” he later remarked. “They had no idea what it would have been like if he had stayed.”

Obama enrolled in the prestigious Punahou Academy while living with his grandparents. He was a standout basketball player who graduated with honors in 1979. He became aware of racism and what it meant to be African American as one of just three Black pupils at the school.

“I realized that there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog…and that Santa was a white man,” Obama wrote later on his battle to reconcile social perceptions of his multicultural origins with his own sense of self. “I went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror, all of my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking exactly as I had always looked, and wondered whether there was something wrong with me.”

Barack Obama Education

In 1979, Obama enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He transferred to Columbia University in New York City after two years and graduated with a degree in political science in 1983. In 1991, he received a magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

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Obama worked in the business sector for two years after graduating from Columbia University as an undergrad. In 1985, he relocated to Chicago, where he worked as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and Altgeld Gardens neighborhoods on the city’s poor South Side.

Obama joined the Trinity United Church of Christ during this time, despite the fact that he “was not reared in a religious household.” He also paid an emotional visit to his biological father’s and paternal grandfather’s graves in Kenya, where he died in a car accident in November 1982.

“I sat between the two graves for a long time and grieved,” Obama wrote. “I realized that everything I’d experienced in America — the Black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I’d had as a child, the frustration and hope I’d watched in Chicago — was all tied to this small piece of earth an ocean away.”

Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988 after returning from Kenya with a renewed sense of purpose. The following year, he met with Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor. Tribe was so impressed by their conversation that he volunteered to join Obama’s staff as a research assistant when he requested.

“The better he did at Harvard Law School and the more he impressed people, the clearer it became that he could have had anything,” Professor Tribe told Frontline in a 2012 interview. “But it was clear that he wanted to make a difference to people, to communities.”

Obama began working as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin in 1989, when he met his future wife Michelle. Obama became the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review in February 1990.

Barack Obama Relationship

At the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin, Obama met Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer who was assigned to be his mentor. The two began dating soon after. He and Michelle married on October 3, 1992.

They relocated to Kenwood, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Malia (born 1998) and Sasha (born 1998) are Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters (born 2001).

Barack Obama Career

Obama returned to Chicago after law school to work as a civil rights lawyer with Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Between 1992 and 2004, he worked part-time as a lecturer and subsequently as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, where he also helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Barack Obama First Book and Grammy

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama’s autobiography, was published in 1995. Toni Morrison and other literary figures have praised the work. Since then, it has been translated into over 25 languages, including Chinese, Swedish, and Hebrew. In 2004, the book was reprinted and reworked for a children’s edition.

Obama narrated the audiobook edition of Dreams, which won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2006.

Barack Obama Entry into Illinois Politics

Obama ran for a seat in the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat in 1996 as a result of his lobbying efforts. Obama worked with Democrats and Republicans to craft ethics legislation, as well as improve health care and early childhood education programs for the poor, during his time as a state senator. He also established a state earned-income tax credit for low-income workers. After a number of death-row inmates were discovered to be innocent, Obama worked with law enforcement officials as chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee to require videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

Obama ran for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent Bobby Rush in the Democratic primary in 2000, but lost. Unfazed, he formed a campaign committee in 2002 and began gathering money to run for a Senate seat in 2004. Obama began evaluating his chances for a Senate victory with the help of political consultant David Axelrod.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Obama was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s campaign to invade Iraq. During a rally in Chicago’s Federal Plaza in October 2002, Obama was still a state senator and spoke out against a resolution authorizing the use of war against Iraq. “Not all wars irritate me.

I abhor pointless conflicts “He spoke himself. “What I reject is the administration’s unscrupulous endeavor by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as well as other armchair, weekend warriors, to ram their ideological agendas down our throats, regardless of the cost in lives lost and sufferings endured.” The Iraq War began in 2003 despite his protests.

Barack Obama Illinois Senator

Obama decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald in the 2004 Democratic primary, based on polling results. With 52 percent of the vote, he defeated multimillionaire businessmen Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes.

That July, he was asked to give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston in support of John Kerry. Obama underlined the significance of unity while making veiled barbs at the Bush administration and the exploitation of wedge issues as a diversionary tactic.

Obama returned to his U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois after the convention. His general election opponent was scheduled to be Republican primary winner and rich former investment banker Jack Ryan. Ryan, however, dropped out of the contest in June 2004 after his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, publicly disclosed unfounded sexual deviancy claims.

Alan Keyes, a former presidential candidate and diplomat, accepted the Republican candidacy to succeed Ryan in August 2004. Obama and Keyes presented differing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers, and tax reduction in three televised debates. In the general election of November 2004, Obama earned 70% of the vote against Keyes’ 27%, the biggest electoral victory in Illinois history. Obama is only the third African American to be elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

Obama joined with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana on a bill that increased efforts to remove weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia after being sworn into office on January 3, 2005. Then he collaborated with Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn to build a website that tracks all federal spending. Obama also spoke up for Hurricane Katrina victims, fought for alternative energy development, and pushed for better veterans’ benefits.

Barack Obama Second Book: ‘The Audacity of Hope’

In October 2006, his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was released. Obama’s ideals for the future of America were covered throughout the work, and many of them became talking themes during his eventual presidential campaign. The book debuted at No. 1 on both the New York Times and Amazon best-seller lists shortly after its publication.

Barack Obama Presidential Election

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

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Obama defeated Republican presidential contender John McCain 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent on November 4, 2008, to become the 44th president of the United States—and the first African American to do it. Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, his running companion, was elected vice president.

Barack Obama Inauguration

The inauguration of Barack Obama took place on January 20, 2009. Obama inherited a global economic recession, two continuing foreign conflicts, and the United States’ lowest-ever international favorability rating when he became office.

He had run on a platform of financial reform, alternative energy, and reimagining education and health care, all while reducing the national debt. Because these challenges were connected with the nation’s economic well-being, he believed they would all have to be addressed at the same time.

Obama addressed the situation during his inauguration speech, saying, “I’m here to tell you that the challenges we’re up against are serious. They are serious and numerous. They will not be readily accomplished or in a short period of time. But, America, be assured: They will be met.”

Barack Obama First 100 Days and Nobel Peace Prize

The Obama administration took action on a number of fronts between Inauguration Day and April 29, 2009. The Nobel Committee in Norway awarded Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his efforts during his first year in office.

Obama persuaded Congress to expand health-care coverage for children and provide legal protection for women seeking equal pay in his first 100 days in office. To boost short-term economic growth, a $787 billion stimulus plan was passed. With a market-based strategy to buy toxic assets from US banks, the housing and credit markets were put on life support. Loans to the auto sector were made, and new Wall Street restrictions were planned.

Working families, small companies, and first-time home purchasers all benefitted from Obama’s tax cuts. In addition, the president lifted the moratorium on embryonic stem cell research and announced a $3.5 trillion budget proposal.

Obama made sweeping changes to America’s foreign policy. He made an effort to enhance relations with Europe, China, and Russia, as well as to engage Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba in conversation. He encouraged allies to vote in favor of a worldwide stimulus plan. He pledged an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan and set an August 2010 deadline for nearly all US troops to leave Iraq.

In more spectacular occurrences, Obama launched a raid on Somali pirates off the coast of the country and prepared the country for a swine flu pandemic. He issued an executive order prohibiting the use of harsh interrogation techniques and ordering the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to close within a year (a deadline that ultimately would not be met).

Barack Obama Re-election in 2012

Obama focused on grassroots activities during his campaign for a second presidential term, much as he did in 2008. Celebrities like Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker hosted fundraisers for the president’s campaign.

At a campaign speech in Maryland in June 2012, Obama promised, “I guarantee you, we will take this country forward.” “We shall complete the task at hand. We’ll also remind the globe why the United States of America is the best nation on the planet.”

Obama ran against Republican Mitt Romney and Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, in the 2012 election. Obama was re-elected to a second four-year term as president on November 6, 2012, with nearly five million more votes than Romney and more than 60 percent of the Electoral College.

Barack Obama Second Term

When US Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Obama on January 21, 2013, he formally began his second term. In his inaugural address to a throng gathered 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.

Barack Obama Midterm Elections in 2014

In November 2014, Obama was confronted with additional domestic concerns. Republicans won a majority in the Senate on Election Day, which means Obama will have to deal with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress for the final two years of his presidency.

The Obama Family’s Financial Situation

Year Income
2000 $240,000
2001 $272,759
2002 $259,394
2003 $238,327
2004 $207,647
2005 $1,655,106
2006 $983,826
2007 $4,139,965
2008 $2,656,902
2009 $5,505,409
2010 $1,728,096
2011 $789,674
2012 $662,076
2013 $481,098
2014 $477,383
2015 $436,065
2016 ?
2017 At least $65,000,000
Total $85,733,727


Barack Obama Net Worth

Net Worth: $70 Million
Salary: $400 Thousand
Date of Birth: Aug 4, 1961 (60 years old)
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft (1.85 m)
Profession: Politician, Lawyer, Writer, Author, Law professor
Nationality: United States of America
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