Barack Obama: the 44th President of the United States of America

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Updated: Aug 30, 2023
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Category: America
Type: Profile
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Name: Barack Hussein Obama II
Place of Birth and Date: Born August 4, 1961 (age 57), in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Family Background: Obama was raised by his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and later by his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, alongside his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who is the daughter of his mother and her second husband. Obama’s parents divorced when he was two. After the divorce, his father, Barack Obama Sr., moved to Massachusetts and eventually returned to Kenya.
Obama has seven half-siblings who, from oldest to youngest (including him), are as follows: Abon’go Malik Obama, from his father’s first marriage; Barack Hussein Obama II, born to his parents; Mark Okoth Obama, David Opiyo Obama, Abo Obama, Bernard Obama, born from his father and his third wife; Maya Soetoro-Ng, daughter of his mother and her second husband; and George Hussein Onyango Obama, son of his father and another Kenyan woman. (Heightline and Family Wikipedia)

In 1967, Obama’s mother married an Indonesian, and he moved from Hawaii to Indonesia with his new family. He attended both a local school and was homeschooled by his mother. In 1971, he returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attend Punahou School. He graduated from there in 1979 and moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. However, he transferred to Columbia University during his junior year and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1983. Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident in Kenya during this time. In 1987, Obama traveled to Kenya for the first time to connect with his family there and visit his father’s grave. In 1992, he married Michelle Obama in Chicago. Their first daughter, Malia was born in 1999 and their second daughter, Natasha, was born in 2001. Malia is currently a student at Harvard College, while Natasha attends Sidwell Friends private high school in Washington D.C. (Book)

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Political Affiliations: Barack Obama is a lifelong Democrat, committed to helping the working class, those in need, and humanitarian efforts. He affiliated with the Democratic Party when he ran for both State and National Senator and President. (Book)

Political life: Barack Obama’s political career began in 1985, shortly after his graduation from Columbia University, with his participation in Chicago community organizing. After a few years, he visited Kenya and then attended Harvard Law School where he became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating with honors in 1991, Obama returned to Chicago, where he worked as a civil rights attorney.
In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois state senate, where he remained for seven years. This was the first real political office he held. After his first four years of service on the state senate, in 2000, Obama ran for U.S. representative from Illinois but was handily defeated in the primary by his competitor, Bobby Rush. Then, in 2004, he ran for U.S. senator from Illinois and won. Three years later, Barack announced his run for the presidency and, by 2008, he had won primaries in thirty-three states, clinching the Democratic nomination for president. On 4 November 2008, Obama won the presidential election and became the first ever African-American president of the United States of America. He was then reelected in 2012 for his second term of presidency. (Wikipedia)

Life after presidency: Barack Obama left the White House on 20 January 2017. He is now 57 years old and currently still living. Obama’s first public appearance after leaving the office came when he spoke at a seminar at the University of Chicago about the engagement of a younger generation and encouraged their participation in politics. Then, with the upcoming French presidential election, Obama made public his endorsement of Emmanuel Macron, who went on to win. In late May, Barack and his wife signed a deal to produce documentaries and features for Netflix with their new production company, Higher Ground Productions. Later that month, while in Germany, Obama made a joint appearance with Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing inclusion and the necessity of leaders to be able to evaluate or question themselves. Following his visit to Germany, Obama traveled to England to meet with Prince Harry.

Over the ensuing months, Obama released multiple statements, Facebook posts, and tweets to express disagreement with the actions of Donald Trump and other Republicans, including the decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He also partnered with all five other living former presidents under the non-profit One American Appeal to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (Wikipedia)

On 31 December 2017, Barack hosted the first meeting of the Obama Foundation in Chicago, which he intends to be the main focus of his post-presidency life. This foundation is dedicated to making a difference on a wide variety of global and local issues such as leadership, equality, health care, climate, and energy. (Obama)

In late November and early December of last year, Obama embarked on another international trip, visiting China, India, and France. In China, he spoke at the Global Alliance of SMEs Summit and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Then, in India, he gave remarks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as hosting a town hall for young leaders which was put on by the Obama Foundation. Obama also visited New Delhi to meet with the Dalai Lama. During his visit to France, he spoke at an invitation-only event about climate change and met with French President Emmanuel Macron, former President Francois Hollande, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

During the 2018 midterm elections, Barack publicly endorsed many Democratic candidates. He even traveled to Las Vegas to speak about economic growth at a campaign rally for Nevada Democratic candidates. (Wikipedia)
Barack Obama currently lives in Washington D.C. with his wife Michelle Obama and their youngest daughter, Sasha, so that she could finish her education at Sidwell Friends, the school she has attended for the duration of their family’s life in D.C. On 24 October 2018 Obama was one of the targets of the pipe bombs mailed to the houses of a few Democrats who had strongly voiced disagreements towards Donald Trump or his policies. The bomb never reached Obama’s house though as it was detected during routine mail screenings and intercepted by the Secret Service. It is also from his home that Barack Obama is working on his Presidential memoir for a supposed $65 million deal with Penguin Random House. (msn)
Pictures: Major policy issues: During his first 100 days as president, Obama issued executive orders with directions for the military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. He also ordered the closing of Guantanamo Bay detention camp but this was denied by Congress who refused to appropriate the necessary funds. Another important action during this crucial span of time was his revocation of President George W. Bush’s restoration of President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Plan which had prohibited federal aid to international organizations that planned or performed abortion counseling.
Economy: In the midst of the worst economic depression since the Great Depression, Barack Obama worked to gear the economy towards the middle class and help those living in poverty to climb into the middle class while laying down a strong foundation for future growth and prosperity. Obama took steps to help Americans who had been hit the hardest by passing the Recovery Acts which, among other things, greatly expanded emergency unemployment benefits, increased benefits and extended access to the food stamps program, provided additional subsidies that allowed workers who had lost their jobs to continue their health insurance coverage, presented companies with incentives to hire unemployed veterans or disconnected youth, increased federal Medicaid payments to help states provide more or better health insurance, provided federal funding to states to supply jobs to low-income parents and youth, and oversaw the creation of many rural jobs. He also provided tax reliefs that helped to restart job growth and made permanent tax cuts for working families and families with college students in an effort to make the tax system fairer. In addition, Obama invested in improving physical infrastructure as well as technological with large investments in scientific research and clean energy. Another major economic goal of Obama’s was bringing stability to the struggling financial sector; a goal he accomplished by restructuring the world’s largest insurer, AIG, to prevent a catastrophic collapse, recapitalizing the financial system, creating and conducting a stress test for America’s main banks to make sure they would be able to withstand a scenario similar to that of the Great Depression, starting programs to reset important lending markets, and leading a global response to the financial crisis. Barack also struggled to reestablish stability in the housing sector.
Another economic venture of Obama’s during his time in Office was to save the American auto industry in order to restore jobs to many American industrial workers. This laid the groundwork for the resurgence of American manufacturing and U.S. competitiveness on a global scale. In addition, Obama worked hard to continue and improve Wall Street while still helping small businesses get back on track and encouraging more entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses. To help Americans obtain new jobs, Obama kept college within reach for many Americans by making student loans more affordable and expanding scholarships as well as improving job-training opportunities. For those who had reached an age of retirement, Obama provided aid by improving the security of retirement. (Obama White House Economy)
Education: Barack Obama believed that “if we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible – from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.” To improve early-childhood learning, he expanded high-quality preschool, improved the quality of childcare, and worked with parents to ensure that every household and child’s parents were equipped to continue education outside the classroom and foster a supportive learning environment. For the improvement of K-12 education, Obama supported Race to the Top, which encouraged states nationwide to follow higher standards, increase teacher effectiveness, incorporate the effective use of data in the classroom, and adopt new strategies to aid schools that were struggling. He also supported No Child Left Behind, redesigned American high schools, and kept teachers in the classroom with the help of his Connected Initiative to supply classrooms with the best possible technology and training on how to use it. Then, in an attempt to make secondary education more widely available, Obama worked to help middle-class families afford college, strengthen community colleges, and keep the overall costs of college down.

Energy and the Environment: As President, Barack Obama took clear action to set the foundation for an economy that runs on clean energy, combat climate change, and protect our environment. Obama strongly supported the All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy which is making America less energy dependent and creating national jobs. Its purpose is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, produce domestic oil and gas in a safe and responsible way, make progress in reducing pollution through cleaner energy technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, make advances in clean energy and energy efficiency, and develop clean fuels while investing in coal communities, workers, and technologies with the POWER+ Plan.

Another environmental goal of Obama’s was to cut carbon pollution in America. To put us on a path towards clean energy, Obama worked to reduce carbon pollution from power plants; increase clean energy leadership; create renewables projects on public lands; expand and modernize the electrical grid; and stay on top of new technologies. He also built a 21st-century clean infrastructure plan, to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gases while leading by example through the implementation of strict energy and sustainability within the federal government and military. While in office, Barack led international efforts to fight global climate change through his support of free trade in environmental goods, leading public-sector financing toward cleaner energy, supporting forests, and promoting global climate resilience. He also prepared the nation for the impacts of climate change by making climate-resilient investments, rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and working to reduce the risks of drought and wildfire. With respect to our environment, Obama supported land and water conservation, protected the oceans, prioritized clean water, ensured clean air, and restored our damaged ecosystems.

You must provide 3-5 primary documents with your interpretation of the document’s impact in the world at that time (answer the, “So what?” questions).

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Major Issues: During his presidency, consider what happened outside of his presidential influence, i.e., natural disasters, foreign wars, world events, others. You decide if it is important. How did he respond? Offer any interesting details about his personality/life/attitudes. Discuss whether you like him or not and why (in a paragraph). Depending on how long your president was in office and what happened while he was there, this section could be ten pages long. You decide.

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Barack Obama: The 44th President of the United States of America. (2020, Feb 18). Retrieved from