Barack Obama
American politician, 44th President of the United States
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama became only the second Democrat to win a second four-year White House term since World War II, when television networks projected he would win the bellwether state of Ohio where he had staged a pitched battle with Romney. "This happened because of you.
Biography
Barack Obama's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Barack Obama from around the web
Crowds gather as Obama goes on New York coffee run
CNN - about 11 hours
Hundreds of cheering onlookers got a glimpse of former President Barack Obama Friday in New York City as he left a Fifth Avenue building after grabbing coffee.
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CNN article
Yes we can... elect Obama president of France?
CNN - about 16 hours
Could France elect Barack Obama president? Not really -- but that's not stopping the organizers of Obama17, a guerrilla campaign trying to entice the former U.S. president to head to Paris.
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CNN article
Overhaul of Medicaid expansion could cost states $32 billion: report
Yahoo News - 1 day
Proposals in Congress that would effectively end Medicaid expansion in 31 U.S. states would cost those states at least $32 billion altogether in 2019, according to a report released on Friday. Republican President Donald Trump has pushed to fulfill a campaign promise to replace Obamacare, his Democratic predecessor's signature healthcare plan, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress. More details of potential replacements by U.S. House Republicans for former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act emerged on Friday, though they have yet to agree on a single detailed policy proposal to repeal and replace the healthcare law.
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Yahoo News article
A Citizens' Petition Calls For A New French President: Barack Obama
NPR - 2 days
He's got "the best resume in the world for the job," according to the "Obama 2017" campaign. They even have a slogan: "Oui on peut!" (That's French for "Yes we can"). Some 27,000 people are on board. (Image credit: Courtesy of Obama 2017)
Article Link:
NPR article
Donald Trump Didn't Actually Roll Back Any Legal Protections For Transgender Kids
Huffington Post - 2 days
WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump outraged LGBTQ rights supporters on Wednesday when his administration eliminated Obama-era federal guidance to schools aimed at protecting transgender students from bullying and discrimination. But it’s important to note that Trump’s action, while it may seem mean-spirited, didn’t change anything legally. The same federal and state laws that protect transgender people against discrimination are still in place, and Trump’s move has no effect on them. The guidance that President Barack Obama’s Departments of Justice and Education issued to school districts in 2016 was just that: guidance. It wasn’t legally binding. It directed schools to accommodate transgender kids’ desire to use school bathrooms and locker rooms that reflect their gender identity. The Obama administration issued that guidance based on its interpretation of Title IX, the 1972 federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. His agencies read ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Trump revokes Obama guidelines on transgender bathrooms
Yahoo News - 3 days
President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday revoked landmark guidance issued to public schools in defense of transgender student rights, reversing course on a signature initiative of former Democratic President Barack Obama. Obama instructed public schools in May 2016 to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity, threatening to withhold federal funding if they should force transgender children to use bathrooms against their will. Trump, a Republican who took office last month, rescinded those guidelines, even though they had been put on hold by a federal judge, arguing that states and public schools should have the authority to make their own decisions without federal government interference.
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Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Barack Obama
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 54
    On his 55th birthday, August 4, 2016, Obama penned an essay in Glamour describing how his daughters and being president have made him a feminist.
    More Details Hide Details Obama is a Protestant Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life. He wrote in The Audacity of Hope that he "was not raised in a religious household". He described his mother, raised by non-religious parents, as being detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known." He described his father as a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change."
    On May 27, 2016, the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by America, Obama became the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, Japan.
    More Details Hide Details Accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama paid tribute to the victims of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Obama's family history, upbringing, and Ivy League education differ markedly from those of African-American politicians who launched their careers in the 1960s through participation in the civil rights movement. Expressing puzzlement over questions about whether he is "black enough", Obama told an August 2007 meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists that "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong." Obama acknowledged his youthful image in an October 2007 campaign speech, saying: "I wouldn't be here if, time and again, the torch had not been passed to a new generation." Obama is frequently referred to as an exceptional orator. During his pre-inauguration transition period and continuing into his presidency, Obama has delivered a series of weekly Internet video addresses. Former presidential campaign surrogate and Georgetown professor, Michael Eric Dyson, is both critical and sympathetic of President Obama's leadership in race relations, indicating that Obama's speeches and action on racial disparity and justice have been somewhat reactive and reluctant when, especially in the later part of his second term, racial violence demanded immediate presidential action and conversation.
    Obama has visited Havana, Cuba for two days in March 2016, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to arrive since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
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    In a 2016 editorial in the New York Times, Obama compared the struggle for what he termed "common-sense gun reform" to women's suffrage and other civil rights movements in American history.
    More Details Hide Details Obama called the November 2, 2010 election, where the Democratic Party lost 63 seats in, and control of, the House of Representatives, "humbling" and a "shellacking". He said that the results came because not enough Americans had felt the effects of the economic recovery.
    On January 5, 2016, Obama announced new executive actions extending background check requirements to more gun sellers.
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  • 2015
    Age 53
    During his July 2015 trip, Obama also was the first U.S. president ever to visit Kenya, which is the homeland of his father.
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    Obama spoke in front of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on July 29, 2015, the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
    More Details Hide Details He gave a speech encouraging the world to increase economic ties via investments and trade with the continent, and lauded the progresses made in education, infrastructure, and economy. He also criticized the lack of democracy and leaders who refuse to step aside, discrimination against minorities (LGBT people, religious groups and ethnicities), and corruption. He suggested an intensified democratization and free trade, to significantly improve the quality of life for Africans.
    On July 1, 2015, President Barack Obama announced that formal diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States would resume, and embassies would be opened in Washington and Havana.
    More Details Hide Details The countries' respective "interests sections" in one another's capitals were upgraded to embassies on July 20 and August 13, 2015, respectively.
    Despite him dropping to 39% in his approval ratings in late-2013 due to the ACA roll-out, he has climbed to 50% in late January 2015 according to Gallup.
    More Details Hide Details Polls show strong support for Obama in other countries, and before being elected President he met with prominent foreign figures including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italy's Democratic Party leader and Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In a February 2009 poll conducted in Western Europe and the U.S. by Harris Interactive for France 24 and the International Herald Tribune, Obama was rated as the most respected world leader, as well as the most powerful. In a similar poll conducted by Harris in May 2009, Obama was rated as the most popular world leader, as well as the one figure most people would pin their hopes on for pulling the world out of the economic downturn.
    Then, following the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (ruling same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right), Obama asserted that, "This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal we are all more free."
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  • 2014
    Age 52
    In December 2014, after the secret meetings, it was announced that Obama, with Pope Francis as an intermediary, had negotiated a restoration of relations with Cuba, after nearly sixty years of détente.
    More Details Hide Details Popularly dubbed the Cuban Thaw, The New Republic deemed the Cuban Thaw to be "Obama's finest foreign policy achievement."
    In 2014, President Obama likened the Zionist movement to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
    More Details Hide Details He said that both movements seek to bring justice and equal rights to historically persecuted peoples. He explained, "To me, being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish is part and parcel with the values that I've been fighting for since I was politically conscious and started getting involved in politics." In February 2011, protests in Libya began against long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi as part of the Arab Spring. They soon turned violent.
    In December 2014, Obama announced that he intended to normalize relationships between Cuba and the United States.
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    On November 10, 2014, President Obama recommended the Federal Communications Commission reclassify broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service in order to preserve net neutrality.
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  • 2013
    Age 51
    On December 10, 2013, Cuban President Raúl Castro, in a significant public moment, greeted and shook hands with Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in Johannesburg.
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    In November 2013, Obama's administration opened negotiations with Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, which included an interim agreement.
    More Details Hide Details Negotiations took two years with numerous delays, with a deal being announced July 14, 2015. The deal, titled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saw the removal of sanctions in exchange for measures that would prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. While Obama hailed the agreement as being a step towards a more hopeful world, the deal drew strong criticism from Republican and conservative quarters, and from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Since the spring of 2013, secret meetings were conducted between the United States and Cuba in the neutral locations of Canada and Vatican City. The Vatican first became involved in 2013 when Pope Francis advised the U.S. and Cuba to exchange prisoners as a gesture of goodwill.
    In the wake of a chemical weapons attack in Syria in 2013 widely blamed on the Assad regime, Obama insisted that Assad must give up his chemical weapons.
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    In 2013, Jeffrey Goldberg reported that, in Obama's view, "with each new settlement announcement, Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation."
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    On February 12, 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13636, "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity". In February and March 2009, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made separate overseas trips to announce a "new era" in U.S. foreign relations with Russia and Europe, using the terms "break" and "reset" to signal major changes from the policies of the preceding administration.
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    On January 16, 2013, one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, President Obama signed 23 executive orders and outlined a series of sweeping proposals regarding gun control.
    More Details Hide Details He urged Congress to reintroduce an expired ban on military-style assault weapons, such as those used in several recent mass shootings, impose limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, introduce background checks on all gun sales, pass a ban on possession and sale of armor-piercing bullets, introduce harsher penalties for gun-traffickers, especially unlicensed dealers who buy arms for criminals and approving the appointment of the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the first time since 2006.
    During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013, Obama became the first president to call for full equality for gay Americans: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."
    More Details Hide Details This was the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word "gay" in an inaugural address. In 2013, the Obama administration filed briefs urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex couples in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding same-sex marriage) and United States v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act).
  • 2012
    Age 50
    On November 6, 2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be reelected as president.
    More Details Hide Details With 51.1% of the popular vote, Obama became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to twice win the majority of the popular vote. President Obama addressed supporters and volunteers at Chicago's McCormick Place after his reelection and said: "Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties."
    Obama was reelected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and has called for greater inclusiveness for LGBT Americans, while his administration has filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor) and state level same-sex marriage bans (Obergefell v. Hodges) as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama ordered U.S. military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, and normalized U.S. relations with Cuba.
    In June 2012, Obama said that the bond between the United States and Israel is "unbreakable."
    More Details Hide Details During the initial years of the Obama administration, the U.S. increased military cooperation with Israel, including increased military aid, re-establishment of the U.S.-Israeli Joint Political Military Group and the Defense Policy Advisory Group, and an increase in visits among high-level military officials of both countries. The Obama administration asked Congress to allocate money toward funding the Iron Dome program in response to the waves of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.
    On May 9, 2012, shortly after the official launch of his campaign for reelection as president, Obama said his views had evolved, and he publicly affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
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    As the incumbent president he ran virtually unopposed in the Democratic Party presidential primaries, and on April 3, 2012, Obama had secured the 2778 convention delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
    More Details Hide Details At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama and Joe Biden were formally nominated by former President Bill Clinton, as the Democratic Party candidates for president and vice president in the general election. Their main opponents were Republicans Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
  • FORTIES
  • 2011
    Age 49
    On October 21, 2011 President Obama announced that all U.S. troops would leave Iraq in time to be "home for the holidays".
    More Details Hide Details In June 2014, following the capture of Mosul by Daesh, Obama sent 275 troops to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Daesh continued to gain ground and to commit widespread massacres and ethnic cleansing. In August 2014, during the Sinjar massacre, Obama ordered a campaign of U.S. airstrikes against Daesh. By the end of 2014, 3,100 American ground troops were committed to the conflict and 16,000 sorties were flown over the battlefield, primarily by U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots. In the Spring of 2015, with the addition of the "Panther Brigade" of the 82nd Airborne Division the number of U.S. ground troops in Iraq surged to 4,400, and by July American-led coalition air forces counted 44,000 sorties over the battlefield. Early in his presidency, Obama moved to bolster U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan. He announced an increase to U.S. troop levels of 17,000 in February 2009 to "stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan", an area he said had not received the "strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires". He replaced the military commander in Afghanistan, General David D. McKiernan, with former Special Forces commander Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in May 2009, indicating that McChrystal's Special Forces experience would facilitate the use of counterinsurgency tactics in the war. On December 1, 2009, Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 military personnel to Afghanistan and proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date; this took place in July 2011.
    On May 25, 2011, Obama became the first President of the United States to address both houses of the UK Parliament in Westminster Hall, London.
    More Details Hide Details This was only the fifth occurrence since the start of the 20th century, of a head of state being extended this invitation, following Charles de Gaulle in 1960, Nelson Mandela in 1996, Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. On October 9, 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Obama accepted this award in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2009, with "deep gratitude and great humility." The award drew a mixture of praise and criticism from world leaders and media figures. Obama's peace prize was called a "stunning surprise" by The New York Times. Obama is the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the third to become a Nobel laureate while in office. Obama's Nobel Prize has been viewed skeptically in subsequent years, especially after the director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, said Obama's Peace Prize did not have the desired effect.
    CIA head Leon Panetta reported this intelligence to President Obama in March 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Meeting with his national security advisers over the course of the next six weeks, Obama rejected a plan to bomb the compound, and authorized a "surgical raid" to be conducted by United States Navy SEALs. The operation took place on May 1, 2011, resulting in the death of bin Laden and the seizure of papers, computer drives and disks from the compound. DNA testing identified bin Laden's body, which was buried at sea several hours later. Within minutes of the President's announcement from Washington, DC, late in the evening on May 1, there were spontaneous celebrations around the country as crowds gathered outside the White House, and at New York City's Ground Zero and Times Square. Reaction to the announcement was positive across party lines, including from former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and from many countries around the world.
    President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address focused on themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics to make the United States more competitive globally.
    More Details Hide Details He spoke of a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and reversing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs. He promised that the United States would have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and would be 80% reliant on "clean" electricity.
  • 2010
    Age 48
    On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, fulfilling a key promise made in the 2008 presidential campaign to end the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that had prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.
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    According to the Gallup Organization, Obama began his presidency with a 68% approval rating before gradually declining for the rest of the year, and eventually bottoming out at 41% in August 2010, a trend similar to Ronald Reagan's and Bill Clinton's first years in office.
    More Details Hide Details He experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. This bounce lasted until around June 2011, when his approval numbers dropped back to where they were previously. His approval ratings rebounded around the same time as his reelection in 2012, with polls showing an average job approval of 52% shortly after his second inauguration.
    On August 31, 2010, Obama announced that the United States combat mission in Iraq was over.
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    The Obama administration scheduled the withdrawal of combat troops to be completed by August 2010, decreasing troop's levels from 142,000 while leaving a transitional force of about 50,000 in Iraq until the end of 2011.
    More Details Hide Details On August 19, 2010, the last U.S. combat brigade exited Iraq. Remaining troops transitioned from combat operations to counter-terrorism and the training, equipping, and advising of Iraqi security forces.
    Obama said, "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."
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    Obama and Medvedev signed the New START treaty in April 2010, and the U.S. Senate ratified it in December 2010.
    More Details Hide Details In December 2011, Obama instructed agencies to consider LGBT rights when issuing financial aid to foreign countries. He criticized Russia's law discriminating against gays in August 2013, stopping short of advocating a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia.
    In March 2010, Obama took a public stance against plans by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue building Jewish housing projects in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. During the same month, an agreement was reached with the administration of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with a new pact reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons in the arsenals of both countries by about one-third.
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    In March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the net effect of both laws will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143 billion over the first decade.
    More Details Hide Details The law faced several legal challenges, primarily based on the argument that an individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance was unconstitutional. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5–4 vote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius that the mandate was constitutional under the U.S. Congress's taxing authority. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby the Court ruled that "closely-held" for-profit corporations could be exempt on religious grounds under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from regulations adopted under the ACA that would have required them to pay for insurance that covered certain contraceptives. In June 2015, the Court ruled 6–3 in King v. Burwell that subsidies to help individuals and families purchase health insurance were authorized for those doing so on both the federal exchange and state exchanges, not only those purchasing plans "established by the State," as the statute reads.
    Obama and the Congressional Budget Office predicted the 2010 budget deficit would be $1.5 trillion or 10.6% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion or 9.9% of GDP.
    More Details Hide Details For 2011, the administration predicted the deficit will shrink to $1.34 trillion, and the 10-year deficit will increase to $8.53 trillion or 90% of GDP. The most recent increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $17.2 trillion took effect in February 2014. On August 2, 2011, after a lengthy congressional debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation enforces limits on discretionary spending until 2021, establishes a procedure to increase the debt limit, creates a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, and establishes automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings. By passing the legislation, Congress was able to prevent a U.S. government default on its obligations. As it did throughout 2008, the unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.0% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year. Between February and December 2010, employment rose by .8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries.
  • 2009
    Age 47
    On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories, and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming.
    More Details Hide Details On April 20, 2010, an explosion destroyed an offshore drilling rig at the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a major sustained oil leak. Obama visited the Gulf, announced a federal investigation, and formed a bipartisan commission to recommend new safety standards, after a review by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and concurrent Congressional hearings. He then announced a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling permits and leases, pending regulatory review. As multiple efforts by BP failed, some in the media and public expressed confusion and criticism over various aspects of the incident, and stated a desire for more involvement by Obama and the federal government. In July 2013, Obama expressed reservations and stated he "would reject the Keystone XL pipeline if it increased carbon pollution" or "greenhouse emissions". Obama's advisers called for a halt to petroleum exploration in the Arctic in January 2013. On February 24, 2015, Obama vetoed a bill that would authorize the pipeline. It was the third veto of Obama's presidency and his first major veto.
    In March 2009, Obama lifted a ban on using federal funds for stem cell research.
    More Details Hide Details On November 7, 2009, a health care bill featuring the public option was passed in the House. On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed its own bill—without a public option—on a party-line vote of 60–39. On March 21, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by the Senate in December was passed in the House by a vote of 219 to 212. Obama signed the bill into law on March 23, 2010. The ACA includes health-related provisions, most of which took effect in 2014, including expanding Medicaid eligibility for people making up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) starting in 2014, subsidizing insurance premiums for people making up to 400% of the FPL ($88,000 for family of four in 2010) so their maximum "out-of-pocket" payment for annual premiums will be from 2% to 9.5% of income, providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage and denial of claims based on pre-existing conditions, establishing health insurance exchanges, prohibiting annual coverage caps, and support for medical research. According to White House and Congressional Budget Office figures, the maximum share of income that enrollees would have to pay would vary depending on their income relative to the federal poverty level.
    After much public debate during the Congressional summer recess of 2009, Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress on September 9 where he addressed concerns over the proposals.
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    On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced a 1,017-page plan for overhauling the U.S. health care system, which Obama wanted Congress to approve by the end of 2009.
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    On September 24, 2009, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
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    On June 26, 2009, in response to the Iranian government's actions towards protesters following Iran's 2009 presidential election, Obama said: "The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous.
    More Details Hide Details We see it and we condemn it." On July 7, while in Moscow, he responded to a Vice President Biden comment on a possible Israeli military strike on Iran by saying: "We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East."
    On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "A New Beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.
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    Spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations totaled about $11.5 trillion, but only $3 trillion was spent by the end of November 2009.
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    In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment.
    More Details Hide Details He signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers", that temporarily boosted the economy.
    Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing.
    More Details Hide Details Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government taking a 12% stake.
    On March 11, 2009, Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls, which forms part of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, having been established by with a broad mandate to advise him on issues relating to the welfare of American women and girls.
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    On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
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    Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009, becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
    More Details Hide Details Elena Kagan, nominated by Obama on May 10, 2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history. On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill which ends the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increases the Pell Grant scholarship award, and makes changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program, in favor of funding Earth science projects, a new rocket type, and research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars, and ongoing missions to the International Space Station.
    In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.
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    The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits.
    More Details Hide Details Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million uninsured children.
    On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession.
    More Details Hide Details The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals. In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets, which contains provisions for buying up to two trillion dollars in depreciated real estate assets.
    The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President took place on January 20, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details In his first few days in office, Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. He ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but Congress prevented the closure by refusing to appropriate the required funds and preventing moving any Guantanamo detainee into the U.S. or to other countries. Obama reduced the secrecy given to presidential records. He also revoked President George W. Bush's restoration of President Ronald Reagan's Mexico City Policy prohibiting federal aid to international family planning organizations that perform or provide counseling about abortion.
    During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Other major domestic initiatives in his first term included the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as "Obamacare"; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In January 2011, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats; and, after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
    He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details Nine months after his inauguration, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
  • 2008
    Age 46
    Obama's mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Madelyn Dunham, until her death on November 2, 2008, two days before his election to the Presidency.
    More Details Hide Details Obama also has roots in Ireland; he met with his Irish cousins in Moneygall in May 2011. In Dreams from My Father, Obama ties his mother's family history to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Besides his native English, Obama speaks some basic Indonesian, having learned the language during his four childhood years in Jakarta. He plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team; he is left-handed.
    Obama announced on November 13, 2008, that he would resign his Senate seat on November 16, 2008, before the start of the lame-duck session, to focus on his transition period for the presidency.
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    During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976. John McCain was nominated as the Republican candidate, and the two engaged in three presidential debates in September and October 2008.
    More Details Hide Details On November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain. Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7%. He became the first African American to be elected president. Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park. On April 4, 2011, Obama announced his reelection campaign for 2012 in a video titled "It Begins with Us" that he posted on his website and filed election papers with the Federal Election Commission.
    On June 7, 2008, Clinton ended her campaign and endorsed Obama.
    More Details Hide Details On August 23, Obama announced his selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. Obama selected Biden from a field speculated to include former Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Hillary Clinton called for her supporters to endorse Obama, and she and Bill Clinton gave convention speeches in his support. Obama delivered his acceptance speech, not at the center where the Democratic National Convention was held, but at Invesco Field at Mile High to a crowd of over 75,000; the speech was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide.
    He resigned from Trinity in May 2008 during his first presidential campaign after some of Wright's statements were criticized.
    More Details Hide Details The Obama family has attended several Protestant churches since moving to Washington, D.C. in 2009, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church. After a prolonged effort to find a church to attend regularly in Washington, Obama announced in June 2009 that his primary place of worship would be the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David. Official Other
  • 2007
    Age 45
    On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.
    More Details Hide Details The choice of the announcement site was viewed as symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Obama emphasized issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and reforming the health care system, in a campaign that projected themes of hope and change. Numerous candidates entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The field narrowed to a duel between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton after early contests, with the race remaining close throughout the primary process but with Obama gaining a steady lead in pledged delegates due to better long-range planning, superior fundraising, dominant organizing in caucus states, and better exploitation of delegate allocation rules.
    In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    More Details Hide Details He also became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He met with Mahmoud Abbas before Abbas became President of the Palestinian National Authority, and gave a speech at the University of Nairobi in which he condemned corruption within the Kenyan government.
    Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act to add safeguards for personality-disorder military discharges.
    More Details Hide Details This amendment passed the full Senate in the spring of 2008. He sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, which has not passed committee; and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.
    Obama also introduced two unsuccessful bills: the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, and the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007.
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    In January 2007, Obama and Senator Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007.
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    He began his presidential campaign in 2007 and, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2008, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination.
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  • 2006
    Age 44
    Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006.
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    Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and for The Audacity of Hope in February 2008.
    More Details Hide Details His concession speech after the New Hampshire primary was set to music by independent artists as the music video "Yes We Can", which was viewed 10 million times on YouTube in its first month and received a Daytime Emmy Award. In December 2008 and in 2012, Time magazine named Obama as its Person of the Year. The 2008 awarding was for his historic candidacy and election, which Time described as "the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments".
  • 2005
    Age 43
    Regarding tort reform, Obama voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which grants immunity from civil liability to telecommunications companies complicit with NSA warrantless wiretapping operations. In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.
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    Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 3, 2005, becoming the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
    More Details Hide Details CQ Weekly characterized him as a "loyal Democrat" based on analysis of all Senate votes from 2005 to 2007.
  • 2004
    Age 42
    Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.
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    During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, police representatives credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms.
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    In the November 2004 general election, Obama won with 70% of the vote.
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    Obama's expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race in June 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Six weeks later, Alan Keyes accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan.
    In July 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, seen by 9.1 million viewers.
    More Details Hide Details His speech was well received and elevated his status within the Democratic Party.
    Decisions by Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald and his Democratic predecessor Carol Moseley Braun to not participate in the election resulted in wide-open Democratic and Republican primary contests involving fifteen candidates. In the March 2004 primary election, Obama won in an unexpected landslide—which overnight made him a rising star within the national Democratic Party, started speculation about a presidential future, and led to the reissue of his memoir, Dreams from My Father.
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  • 2003
    Age 41
    He addressed another anti-war rally in March 2003 and told the crowd that "it's not too late" to stop the war.
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    Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq.
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    Obama formally announced his candidacy in January 2003.
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  • 2002
    Age 40
    On October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War rally, and spoke out against the war.
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    He created a campaign committee, began raising funds, and lined up political media consultant David Axelrod by August 2002.
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    In May 2002, Obama commissioned a poll to assess his prospects in a 2004 U.S. Senate race.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2000
    Age 38
    In 2000, he lost a Democratic primary race for Illinois's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.
    More Details Hide Details In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority. He sponsored and led unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they detained, and legislation making Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.
  • 1998
    Age 36
    He was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election, and was reelected again in 2002.
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  • 1996
    Age 34
    In 1996, as a candidate for the Illinois state senate, Obama had said that he favored legalizing same-sex marriage; but by the time of his Senate run in 2004, he said that while he supported civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex partners, for strategic reasons he opposed same-sex marriages.
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    Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding Democratic State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois's 13th District, which at that time spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde Park–Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn.
    More Details Hide Details Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation that reformed ethics and health care laws. He sponsored a law that increased tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare. In 2001, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.
  • 1995
    Age 33
    He served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.
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  • 1994
    Age 32
    The Task Force has been a development out of the White House Council on Women and Girls and Office of the Vice President of the United States, and prior to that, the 1994 Violence Against Women Act that was first-drafted by Biden.
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    From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and of the Joyce Foundation.
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    In 1994, he was listed as one of the lawyers in Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 94 C 4094 (N.D. Ill.). This class action lawsuit was filed in 1994 with Selma Buycks-Roberson as lead plaintiff and alleged that Citibank Federal Savings Bank had engaged in practices forbidden under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act.
    More Details Hide Details The case was settled out of court. Final Judgment was issued on May 13, 1998 with Citibank Federal Savings Bank agreeing to pay attorney fees. His law license became inactive in 2007.
  • 1993
    Age 31
    He joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004.
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  • 1992
    Age 30
    From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration campaign with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, leading Crain's Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.
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    He then taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, first as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and then as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 29
    They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.
    More Details Hide Details The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. Malia graduated in 2016, and after a gap year will attend Harvard University beginning in the fall of 2017. The Obamas have two Portuguese Water Dogs, the first, a male named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy. In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female. Applying the proceeds of a book deal, the family moved in 2005 from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to a $1.6 million house in neighboring Kenwood, Chicago. The purchase of an adjacent lot—and sale of part of it to Obama by the wife of developer, campaign donor and friend Tony Rezko—attracted media attention because of Rezko's subsequent indictment and conviction on political corruption charges that were unrelated to Obama.
    In 1991, Obama accepted a two-year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School to work on his first book.
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    After graduating with a JD degree magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations, which evolved into a personal memoir. The manuscript was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.
  • 1989
    Age 27
    During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.
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  • 1988
    Age 26
    Obama entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988, living in nearby Somerville, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe while at Harvard for two years.
    In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time in Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.
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  • 1985
    Age 23
    He worked there as a community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988.
    More Details Hide Details He helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.
    In 1985, Obama was among the leaders of May Day efforts to bring attention to the New York City Subway system, which was in a bad condition at the time.
    More Details Hide Details Obama traveled to several subway stations to get people to sign letters addressed to local officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and was photographed at the City College subway station holding a sign protesting against the system's condition. Two years after graduating, Obama was hired in Chicago as director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale on Chicago's South Side.
  • 1983
    Age 21
    He graduated with a BA degree in 1983 and worked for a year at the Business International Corporation, then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
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  • 1982
    Age 20
    When he was killed in an automobile accident in 1982, his son was 21 years old. In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1981
    Age 19
    Later in 1981, he transferred as a junior to Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and lived off-campus on West 109th Street.
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    In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan and India for three weeks.
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    In February 1981, Obama made his first public speech, calling for Occidental to participate in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to that nation's policy of apartheid.
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  • 1979
    Age 17
    After high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College.
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  • 1975
    Age 13
    Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 so his mother could begin anthropology field work.
    More Details Hide Details His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD degree in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me – that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk – barely registered in my mind." He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered – to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect – became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear." Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind". Obama was also a member of the "choom gang", a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1972
    Age 10
    Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii.
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  • 1971
    Age 9
    Obama returned to Honolulu in 1971 to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details In his youth, Obama went by the nickname Barry.
  • 1966
    Age 4
    After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet subdistrict of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng subdistrict of central Jakarta.
    More Details Hide Details From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.
  • 1964
    Age 2
    Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964 where he remarried; he visited Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971.
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    Obama's parents divorced in March 1964.
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  • 1962
    Age 0
    During that time, Obama Sr. completed his undergraduate economics degree in Hawaii in June 1962, then left to attend graduate school at Harvard University on a scholarship.
    More Details Hide Details There he earned an M.A. in economics.
  • 1961
    Born
    The couple married in Wailuku on Maui on February 2, 1961, and separated when, in late August 1961, Obama's mother moved with their newborn son to attend the University of Washington in Seattle for a year.
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