Barack Hussein Obama II (Listeni /bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid against a Democratic incumbent for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he ran for United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004. His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.
As president, Obama signed economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. Other domestic policy initiatives include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a major piece of health care reform legislation which he signed into law in March 2010, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which forms part of his financial regulatory reform efforts, which he signed in July 2010. In foreign policy, Obama gradually withdrew combat troops from Iraq, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, and signed an arms control treaty with Russia. On October 8, 2009, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
* 1 Early life and career
o 1.1 Chicago community organizer and Harvard Law School
o 1.2 University of Chicago Law School and civil rights attorney
* 2 Legislative career: 1997–2008
o 2.1 State Senator: 1997–2004
o 2.2 U.S. Senate campaign
o 2.3 U.S. Senator: 2005–2008
+ 2.3.1 Legislation
+ 2.3.2 Committees
* 3 Presidential campaign: 2008
* 4 Presidency
o 4.1 First days
o 4.2 Domestic policy
+ 4.2.1 Economic policy
+ 4.2.2 Health care reform
+ 4.2.3 Gulf of Mexico oil spill
o 4.3 Foreign policy
+ 4.3.1 Iraq war
+ 4.3.2 War in Afghanistan
o 4.4 Cultural and political image
* 5 Political positions
* 6 Family and personal life
o 6.1 Religious views
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
Early life and career
Main article: Early life and career of Barack Obama
Obama was born August 4, 1961, at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, of mostly English, some German,  and Irish descent. His great-great-great grandfather hailed from County Offaly. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship. The couple married on February 2, 1961, but separated when Obama Sr. went to Harvard University on scholarship, and divorced in 1964. Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya, visiting Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982.
After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967, all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled, and the family moved to the Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.
In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972, remaining there until 1977 when she went back to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year, before dying of ovarian cancer.obama