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1. Barack Obama, The 44th President Of The United States Since 2009
Barack Hussein Obama II (born 4 August, 1961) is the first African American to be President of the United States. He was first inaugurated as President in 2009, as the 44th President of the United States and began his second term of presidency after being sworn in on January 20, 2013.
2. Running For Senator in Illinois in 2004
Barack Obama’s political journey has been quite successful since he ran for Senate in 2004. Obama ran for Senate in Illinois against opponent Alan Keyes. This was the first time in US history that two African Americans were running for a major party Senate seat (photo courtesy: Marc Pokempner).
3. Barack Obama Wrote Several Books, Helping Paying Back His Student Loans
He has written several books, and has been praised for many of them as well. His autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, earned him a Grammy award for Best Spoken Word Album. Oprah Winfrey added his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, to her book club, which increased its popularity. The sale of his books helped him repay his student loans, which he paid off in 2004.
4. Barack Obama’s Childhood In Indonesia
Barack Obama went through a difficult childhood, with his father leaving him at the mere age of two. His mother then remarried and they moved to Indonesia, where he ate snake meat and dog meat and was in close contact with the very poor. He remembers mostly befriending people living on the street.
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5. Moving To Hawaii, Studying At Punahou and at Harvard (Law)
After his mother divorced her second husband, she sent Obama back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. They supported him in his studies and he was able to go to one of Hawaii’s best schools, Punahou School, graduating with honors. During his studies at Harvard, he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
6. The Women In His Life: Michelle, Malia & Sasha
Obama is a one-woman kind of man. His wife Michelle was his mentor at the law firm they both worked at (Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin) and initially did not want to date him. He pursued his interest in her and in 1991, they were engaged. The couple’s first date was to the movies; they went to see ‘Do the Right Thing’ by Spike Lee. They married in 1992, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Video: Date in 1989
7. Barack Obama Quit Smoking in … 2010
Obama doesn’t seem to have many deterring habits, save for one. Obama was a smoker, but after promising his wife Michelle that he would quit, he began his attempt to quit. He tried many times, and in 2010, Michelle proudly confirmed that Obama had indeed quit smoking.
8. Barack Obama Is A Great Fan Of The Harry Potter Books
Like many others around the world, Obama is a loyal Harry Potter fan. He has read all seven of the Harry Potter series (Books 1-7). On the rare occasion that he is home early enough, he reads Harry Potter to his daughter Malia. His favorite classic is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.
10. His Favorite Meal? Shrimp Linguini, Made By Ms. Michelle Obama
Obama knows his way around the kitchen. He can make a mean chili, but his favorite meal is the one made by his wife Michelle, her special shrimp linguini. He is not a big fan of mayonnaise or ice cream, the latter because he used to work at Baskin and Robbins as a teenager (photo courtesy: The Enchanted Cook).
11. The ‘Mini United Nations’: The Large Family Of Barack Obama
Barack Obama likes to refer to his large family as a “mini United Nations”. He has family all over the world, including Kenya and Ireland. Interestingly, though far related, he is a ninth cousin of Brad Pitt. He has one half-sister from his mother’s second marriage, one half-sister and 4 half-brothers from his father’s multiple marriages.
13. Visit ‘Barack Obama’ in Antigua, Florida, Spain, …
Obama has become a famous name around the world. Many roads and landmarks have been renamed after him. In Antigua, the mountain Boggy Peak was renamed Mount Obama on his birthday in 2009. In Florida, the Pembroke Park Road was to be renamed Barack Obama Boulevard. In Valencia, Spain, a street was to be renamed Calle Barack Obama.
14. Barack Obama: A Two Terms President, Sworn Into Office Four Times (Unique)
Obama is the first president to be sworn into office four times since the presidency has been limited to two terms. In 2009, he was sworn in twice, when one of the words was mispronounced and the oath had to be recited again. In January 2013 when he was re-elected, he was sworn in once at a private ceremony, which was on a Sunday, 20 January 2013. The public ceremony took place on the Monday, 21 january 2013, completing a swearing in of four times.
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Video: Oath in 2013
15. His Daughters Malia and Sasha
He upholds a strict but friendly demeanour with his daughters. During one of his acceptance speeches, his daughters flew in from another state to be present. He addressed them in the beginning of his speech with, “Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud. But don’t get any ideas — you’re still going to class tomorrow.”
16. Barack, Meaning The ‘Blessed’ One
Barack means blessed in Swahili and Semitic languages. He most certainly seems to be a blessing for the U.S., as under his leadership, the country has had 32 consecutive months of job growth. This is a much-needed boost for the job sector and the economy in the United States of America.
17. One Of The Focus Areas During His Presidency: Health Care (Obamacare)
Barack Obama is taking steps to turn around the health care system in the US, through inter alia the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. Obama’s health care plan has already aided 5.6 million seniors and people with disabilities. Approximately 17 million children who have been previously diagnosed with medical conditions will now be given medical coverage.
Video: Obamacare in 2012
18. Taking The Oath in 2013 With The Bibles Of Michelle’s Family, Abraham Lincoln, And Martin Luther King
In January 2013, Obama took the oath of office with three different Bibles. During the private ceremony, he used the Bible that belonged to his wife Michelle’s family. The next day at the public ceremony, he used the Bible also used by Abraham Lincoln in his inauguration and the Bible that belonged to Martin Luther King Jr.
19. Obama Plays Basketball on Election Days
President Barack Obama has played basketball on almost every Election Day during his presidential run. Obama used to play basketball in high school where he was called the Barry O’Bomber due to his jump shot. He was never the star of his team, but Obama helped his team to a 60-28 win in the 1979 Hawaii State Championships.
20. 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner & ‘Person Of The Year’ By Time Magazine (Twice)
Barack Obama is quite the laureate. In 2008, he won his second Grammy award for Best Spoken Word for the audio version of his book, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.” He was also named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year”. In 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2012, he was named the “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine for the second time.
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