Barack Obama biography and education

Barack Obama - Toolshero

Barack Obama (Barack Hussein Obama, 4 August 1961) is an attorney and politician of the Democratic Party who was the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He is known as the first American president with mixed ethnic background. Before his presidency, Barack Obama served as an Illinois state senator and U.S. senator. He is additionally the author of the 2006 bestseller ‘The Audacity of Hope.’

Biography of Barack Obama

Barack Obama was born and raised by a middle-class American family. His mother, Ann Dunham, is a native American, and his father was born in Kenya. Obama’s parents separated in his childhood. Due to his young age, Barack Obama was still dependent on his mother, who later remarried an Indonesian. Ann Dunham decided to relocate to Indonesia, where Barack Obama was about to live together with his mother and Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro.

After two years in Indonesia, Barack Obama moved back to the United States to study. Barack was eager to make something of his life. He received several student loans and scholarships to go to college, which he completed successfully. Barack Obama continued his study by studying political science in New York. During this period, he was raised and supported by his grandparents. His mother later divorced her second husband and moved back to the United States.

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After graduation, Barack Obama has held several positions. He first worked at Business International Corporation, a publishing and advisory firm dedicated to assisting American companies operating abroad. He next worked for the New York Public Interest Research Group, an organization that attempts to bring the voices of average New Yorkers to public policy debates.

Barack next became director of the non-profit organization Developing Communities Project (DCP). This organization was established to respond to a large number of local steel plant closures, which consequently increased the unemployment rate in Chicago. DCP was dedicated to rebuilding these communities and improve the quality of life by supporting residencies.

In 1989, Barack Obama started working as a lawyer at Sidley Austin while he simultaneously worked as a lecturer since 1988 at the University of Chicago, where he taught constitutional law. He worked there for around 12 years. At Sidley Austin, he was mentored by Michelle Robinson, his future wife Michelle Obama.

Barack was impressed by how good looking Michelle was and later asked her out. She denied him several times for her reasons, but Barack Obama was persistent in repeating the question until he offered to quit his job. Fortunately, she agreed to date Barack, and he next impressed her with his apparel and attitude on the following dates. It only took two years, before Barack Obama asked Michelle to marry him.

Barack Obama became a state senator in 1997 in which he represented the 13th District on Chicago’s south side. He held this position up until 2004 when he was elected to Congress in 2004. From this moment, Barack Obama worked as a U.S. state senator.

His thoughts on helping communities were previously demonstrated in his first position after graduation. In his job as a senator, Barack served on multiple committees such as Foreign Relations to focus on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Barack Obama has additionally proposed numerous legislations such as the Global Poverty Act of 2007, which direct the U.S. president to further develop and implement a strategy with specific and measurable goals that reduce global poverty, and the Healthy Places act, which aims to study and improve the effect of land use on the health of the public.

In 2007, Barack Obama also started his campaign to become president of the United States. He campaigned for president when there was a record-breaking number of candidates. His primary opponent was Hillary Clinton, who is the wife of Bill Clinton.

In the early campaign stage, the candidates focused on the unpopular war in Iraq. Many candidates, such as McCain, shared their view on how to win the war. Nevertheless, Barack Obama voted against the war and stated that it should be ended as fast as possible. His view was remarkable for the public, which substantially increased his presence in the elections.

In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidential elections with almost 70 million votes. Since the presidency of John Kennedy in 1960, Obama is the first U.S. senator to win the presidential elections. He was elected the 44th president of the United States.

Education Barack Obama

Barack Obama first attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school. He temporarily went to a local Indonesian school but soon returned to America. Since his return to the United States, it could be noticed that Barack Obama was a hard-working individual who invested to achieve results. With the help of several grants, he attended Occidental College in 1979, a private liberal art school.

Barack was called Barry by his roommates with who he surfed and played basketball frequently. Fellow students stated that he always knew what and when to say, and that he was good looking and confident in everything he does.

It was remarkable that Barack Obama always chose advanced electives concerning political science. At this time, he was already a good listener. Barack let people share their opinion before he shared his. This trait enables him to understand what people are thinking about before he reacts.

Obama was interested in many things. At some moments, he felt more attracted to one political group than at other moments. He always showed interest, but he never embedded himself, focusing solely on one thing. It made it easy for him to switch and do what he likes.

He went to Columbia University for four years after his graduation at Occidental College. This time, Barack Obama lived isolated and worked hard for his study. He was ambitious, but he had no clear view where he was heading.

In this period, it was not yet Obama’s goal to become the president of the United States. His work was at a cost, as Barack today reflects on this period as too self-disciplined. He worked part-time next to his study, and he jogged to prevent gaining weight.

In 1988, he studied law at Harvard University. Immediately, his classmates saw a born leader in Barack Obama. Obama was already well respected, he was extremely mature for his age, and he was considered very intelligent. For example, when the class had to debate about a case, Barack’s answers were always well thought and drew attention from the rest of the class.

Barack Obama became the first black president of the Harvard Law School Review, and he received his Juris Doctorate in 1991.

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President Barack Obama

Barack Obama became president in an economically challenging time. The global recession was the worst since 1930. The United States’ economic performance was declining significantly, and the unemployment rate fell faster than expected.

Barack Obama and the office were forced to take extreme and immediate action to stabilize the economy. The first objective of his presidency was to confront the crisis and enabling cash flows. Obama designed a recovery plan that included lower interest rates to stimulate investments and provide car- and student loans to increase government spending.

Obama believes in creating a sustainable future for the next generations. Hence, climate change had a high priority during his presidency. The government has made a substantial investment in renewable energy. Within three years, the U.S. energy capacity from wind and solar energy should be doubled. Since Obama took office, greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 9 percent while the economy grew with 10 percent.

The health care system in the United States was not affordable for everyone. Health Care companies could charge high prices for their packages, which was simply too expensive for all inhabitants. Especially the ones with specific medical conditions.

Barack Obama reformed the health care system without increasing government budget, which as a result, stabilized the increasing prices of health care insurances. His reform plan is now internationally known as Obamacare.

During his presidency, the unemployment rate dropped to a better rate than it was before. The overall poverty rate improved, and the number of people who did not have health insurance dropped. The health care package prices did not rise excessively as before. He additionally made sure that a third more people were eligible for receiving food stamps.

Parents, mother, and father

Barack Obama is the son of Ann Dunham. A young mother who was born in November 1942 in Kansas, United States. She grew up in a middle-class family in Hawaii and her father worked in a furniture store.

In her youth, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Chicago, where she studied anthropology. Ann fell in love with an exchange student from Kenya, Barack Obama Sr., who was an exchange student at the University of Hawaii.

Barack Obama was born when Ann was 19 years old. They were a regular family until Barack Obama Sr. decided to study at Harvard University. Soon after the announcement, he also decided to move back to Kenya when Barack Obama was almost two years old. Barack was from this moment raised by Ann and her parents.

Ann Dunham met Lolo Soetoro in Hawaii when he was studying geology. They fell in love and married in 1967. In this marriage, she moved to Jakarta. Their daughter Maya was born on 15 August in 1970. Unfortunately, their marriage lasted for around six years. After their divorce, Ann moved back to the United States.

Ann died in 1995 from cancer. Her daughter describes her as a hard-working mother with a positive mindset. She never complained and always thought optimistic. She was interested in various religions, and she always had the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita near her.

Barack Obama’s presidential time is over, but he is still beloved by the public. He received several awards before, during, and after his presidency. For instance, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and the NME Award for Hero of the Year in 2013.

Barack has two daughters with his wife, Michelle Obama. Malia was born in 1999, and Natasha was born in 2001.

Obama has always been neutral about many subjects, and he is considered very intelligent as he can unite different types of people among a common goal. His private life has always been a mystery, but the people around him have always respected him.

Famous quotes

  1. “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.”
  2. “We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.”
  3. “We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges.”
  4. “Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.”
  5. “Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.”
  6. “We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated.”
  7. “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”
  8. “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”
  9. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”
  10. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
  11. “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
  12. “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
  13. “In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”
  14. “It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
  15. “Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

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Publications and Books by Barack Obama et al.

  • 2017. Barack Obama on food and climate change:‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’. Retrieved June, 3, 2017.
  • 2016. Beyond black and white: From civil rights to Barack Obama. Verso Trade.
  • 2012. Articulate while Black: Barack Obama, language, and race in the US. Oxford University Press.
  • 2012. The endgame: The inside story of the struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. Pantheon.
  • 2012. Barack Obama: the story. Simon and Schuster.
  • 2012. Climate-change rhetoric: A study of the persuasive techniques of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Australian Journal of Communication, 39(2), 35.
  • 2009. Barack Obama and America’s journey. Southern Communication Journal, 74(1), 88-103.
  • 2009. Change we can believe in: Barack Obama’s plan to renew America’s promise. Canongate Books.
  • 2009. Remarks by President Barack Obama at Suntory Hall. The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 14.
  • 2008. Barack Obama in his own words. Public Affairs.
  • 2007. The audacity of hope: Thoughts on reclaiming the American dream. Canongate Books.
  • 2007. Barack Obama and the politics of blackness. Journal of Black Studies, 38(1), 7-29.
  • 2007. Dreams from my father: A story of race and inheritance. Canongate Books.
  • 2007. Senator Barack Obama: The rhetoric of hope and the American dream. Journal of Black Studies, 38(2), 121-129.

How to cite this article:
Zeeman, A. (2020). Barack Obama. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Original publication date: 07/30/2020 | Last update: 04/11/2023

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Alexander Zeeman
Article by:

Alexander Zeeman

Alexander Zeeman is Content Manager at ToolsHero where he focuses on Content production, Content management and marketing. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business school. Currently, in his study, working on the development of various management competencies and improving operational business processes.


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