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          44th President       
Barack H. Obama
(1961-      )

Notes:  His middle name is Hussein.  In Swahili, Barack means "blessed."  In Arabic, Hussein means "beautiful."

When he was a child, his family called him "Barry."  In elementary school in Indonesia, some kids nicknamed him "curly eyelashes."

As a child, Obama liked flipping through newspapers and magazines, looking at different photos and trying to guess what was happening in the accompanying news articles.

"I was not born into money or status.  But my family gave me love, they gave me education, and most of all, they gave me hope -
 hope that in America, no dream is beyond our grasp if we reach for it, work for it, and fight for it."
~ Barack Obama

Barack Obama has made history by being the first African American elected to be president of the United States. 

Barack Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii.  His mother, Ann, was a white American, and his father, Barack, Sr. was a black man from Kenya.  Barack was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.

Barack, Sr. received a scholarship to continue his studies at Harvard.  He was determined to pursue that opportunity, but the scholarship didn't include enough money to support his family, so Ann and Barack, Jr. stayed in Hawaii.  Barack's parents eventually divorced, and he didn't see his father again until he was ten years old.

Several years later after his parents' divorce, his mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student, with whom she had one daughter.  The family moved to Jakarta in 1967, where Obama attended local schools from ages 6 to 10.

At Barack's school, everyone spoke Bahasa, the language used for education in Indonesia.  He learned this new language in less than a year.

His mother wanted Barack to master English and learn the history of the United States.  She woke him up every school day at four in the morning for lessons. 

She taught him about the civil rights struggle in America and gave him the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Ann wanted her son to learn about choices and how courageous acts were helping to make the world a better place.

At ten years old, Barack returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.  His grandfather helped him get into Punahou Academy, a private prep school in Honolulu.    ~

He worked his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans.  Then he moved to Chicago to help rebuild communities devastated by the closing of local steel plants.

Later, he attended law school at Harvard, where he became the first African-American to be president of the Harvard Law Review.  After graduating, he returned to Chicago to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago.

He served as a senator from Illinois for two years.

He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009.  He and his wife, Michelle have two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.


Designed by Kathy Ruhmann
Media Specialist, Sparta Lincoln Middle School