Barack Obama: Life Before the Presidency

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Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on august 4, 1961 Barack Hussein Obama II was the 44th president of the united states and the first African American president. His parents were Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham, Barack Obama Sr. was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He grew up herding goats in Africa and got a scholarship to move to Hawaii and pursue his dream. Obama’s mother Ann Dunham was born in Wichita, Kansas during WWII. Several moves in her family’s behalf led them to Hawaii. While studying at the university of Hawaii at Manoa, Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham. After dating for a while, they got married on February 2, 1961 and Barack II was born six months later. His father left him and his mother when Barack was only two years old, Obama Sr. moved to Massachusetts to attend Harvard law. Soon after that his parents got divorced and Dunham got remarried to Lolo Soetoro, a student from University of Hawaii from Indonesia. Then a year later they moved to Indonesia where Obama’s younger sister was born in 1970. At the age of 10 Obama was sent back to Hawaii to live with his grand parents and get a safe education, soon after that his mother and sister joined him.

After going through difficulties growing up without a father and being one of the only four black students in his high school he graduated and entered Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1979. After two years he transferred to Colombia University in New York city, and graduated with a degree in political science in 1983. After graduating, Obama worked in the business sector for two years. He then moved back to California and started where worked with the people to organize and help the south side as a community organizer. During this time, he used to visit and eventually joined the Trinity United Church of Christ. He also used to visit his relatives in Kenya and paid an emotional visit to his biological father’s grave, who died in a car accident in November 1982, and his grandfather.

Harvard Law School Period

Returning from Kenya Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. He then joined professor Laurence Tribes team as a research assistance. After doing and learning a lot under professor Laurence, he joined the Chicago law firm of Sidley as a summer associate in 1989. He was assigned an adviser who would become his future wife and mother of two daughters. Obama met Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer at his firm, not long after they started dating and on October 3, 1992 he and Michelle were married. They then welcomed two daughters several years later, Malia born in 1998 and Sasha born in 2001. He dabbled in practicing as a civil right lawyer with the firm Miner, Barnhill and Gulland. He also taught constitutional law at university of Chicago Law school between 1992 and 2004.

Obamas work led him to run for a seat in the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat in 1996. He then worked to improve health care and ethics as well as early childhood education to the poor. As chairman of Illinois senates health and human services committee, he worked with law enforcement to require videotaping of interrogations and confessions because of the number of death-raw inmates were found innocent. In 2000 Obama thought he could make more difference than he can as a senator if he ran for U.S House of Representative seat which unfortunately he lost to Bobby Rush, according to his team and friends Obama never saw this as degrading or anything rather he worked and looked for where things went wrong and how he could improve for the future. in 2002 he created a campaign committee and began to raising funds to run for a seat in the U.S. senate in 2004. In 2001 after the attack of 9/11 Obama was an opponent of President George W. Bush’s plan to go to war with Iraq. He spoke out during a rally at Chicago’s plaza in 2002 . “I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars” he said. But despite his protest the Iraq war started in 2003. Looking at the poll number and encouraged by it Obama decided to run for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by republican Peter Fitzgerald in 2004 Democratic primary. And won. In august 2004, diplomat and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes accepted the republican nomination to replace Rayan, who was withdrawn from the race because of allegations from his wife about unsubstantiated sexual deviancy. In three consecutive televised debate Obama and Keyes expressed their views on call research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers and tax cuts. Then in the general election Obama won by receiving 70 percent of the vote to Keyes 27 percent. With that win he became the only third African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

After getting into office he sought to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia by partnering up with Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana. Before being elected to the big office Obama wrote two best selling books. The first book was an autobiography, Dreams from My father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, in 1995. The book had a high praise and has been printed in more that 25 languages. And then the second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was published in 2006. It was about the vision Obama had for the future of the United State, it was the number 1 hit book on the New York Times and Amazons best book-sellers list.


All of this then led to a headline made by Obama in February 2007, announcing his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. On June 3, 2008 he became the tentative nominee after winning adequate number of pledged votes during the primary, and his tight battle with the former lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then U.S. senator of New York ended, and she gave her full support to Obama. Finally, on November Obama won his final debate with republican nominee John McCain, 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent and became the first African American to win an election to become the president of the United States.

Cite this paper

Barack Obama: Life Before the Presidency. (2020, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/barack-obama-life-before-the-presidency/



How did Barack become famous?
Barack Obama became famous through his political career as a senator and his historic election as the first African American president of the United States in 2008. His charismatic personality and inspiring speeches also contributed to his popularity.
What are 3 things that Obama did while he was president?
He made healthcare a right for all Americans, ended the war in Iraq, and brought America back from the brink of economic collapse.
What did President Obama do before presidency?
He was a lawyer and a community organizer.
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