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Barack Obama | Biography, Presidency, & Facts

Early life

Listen to Janny Scott discuss her biography A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
Listen to Janny Scott discuss her biography A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's MotherJanny Scott discussing her book A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother (2011), touching on topics such as how the former president's parents met, the spurious birther claims about his country of origin, and his childhood experiences in Indonesia, among others.Encyclop?dia Britannica, Inc.See all videos for this article

Obamas father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a teenage goatherd in rural Kenya, won a scholarship to study in the United States, and eventually became a senior economist in the Kenyan government. Obamas mother, S. Ann Dunham, grew up in Kansas, Texas, and Washington state before her family settled in Honolulu. In 1960 she and Barack Sr. met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii and married less than a year later.

When Obama was age two, Barack Sr. left to study at Harvard University; shortly thereafter, in 1964, Ann and Barack Sr. divorced. (Obama saw his father only one more time, during a brief visit when Obama was 10.) Later Ann remarried, this time to another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro from Indonesia, with whom she had a second child, Maya. Obama lived for several years in Jakarta with his half sister, mother, and stepfather. While there, Obama attended both a government-run school where he received some instruction in Islam and a Catholic private school where he took part in Christian schooling.

He returned to Hawaii in 1971 and lived in a modest apartment, sometimes with his grandparents and sometimes with his mother (she remained for a time in Indonesia, returned to Hawaii, and then went abroad againpartly to pursue work on a Ph.D.before divorcing Soetoro in 1980). For a brief period his mother was aided by government food stamps, but the family mostly lived a middle-class existence. In 1979 Obama graduated from Punahou School, an elite college preparatory academy in Honolulu.

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Obama attended Occidental College in suburban Los Angeles for two years and then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where in 1983 he received a bachelors degree in political science. Influenced by professors who pushed him to take his studies more seriously, Obama experienced great intellectual growth during college and for a couple of years thereafter. He led a rather ascetic life and read works of literature and philosophy by William Shakespeare, Friedrich Nietzsche, Toni Morrison, and others. After serving for a couple of years as a writer and editor for Business International Corp., a research, publishing, and consulting firm in Manhattan, he took a position in 1985 as a community organizer on Chicagos largely impoverished Far South Side. He returned to school three years later and graduated magna cum laude in 1991 from Harvard Universitys law school, where he was the first African American to serve as president of the Harvard Law Review. While a summer associate in 1989 at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin, Obama had met Chicago native Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer at the firm. The two married in 1992.

After receiving his law degree, Obama moved to Chicago and became active in the Democratic Party. He organized Project Vote, a drive that registered tens of thousands of African Americans on voting rolls and that is credited with helping Democrat Bill Clinton win Illinois and capture the presidency in 1992. The effort also helped make Carol Moseley Braun, an Illinois state legislator, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. During this period, Obama wrote his first book and saw it published. The memoir, Dreams from My Father (1995), is the story of Obamas search for his biracial identity by tracing the lives of his now-deceased father and his extended family in Kenya. Obama lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago and worked as an attorney on civil rights issues.

Barack Obama, 2004.
Barack Obama, 2004.Nam Y. Huh/AP

sister of barack obama
Barack Obama
Updated:Jan 31, 2020Original:Nov 9, 2009


Barack Obamas Early LifeBarack Obamas EducationBarack Obama, Community Organizer and AttorneySenator Barack ObamaBarack Obamas Speech At the 2004 Democratic National Convention2008 Presidential CampaignBarack Obamas First Term as PresidentBarack Obamas Second Term as PresidentPHOTO GALLERIES

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president, was elected over Senator John McCain of Arizona on November 4, 2008. Obama, a former senator from Illinois whose campaigns slogan was Change we can believe in and Yes we can, was subsequently elected to a second term over Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. A winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Obamas presidency was marked by the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare; the killing of Osama bin Laden by Seal Team Six; the Iran Nuclear Deal and the legalization of gay marriage by the Supreme Court.

Barack Obamas Early Life

Obamas father, also named Barack Hussein Obama, grew up in a small village in Nyanza Province, Kenya, as a member of the Luo ethnicity. He won a scholarship to study economics at the University of Hawaii, where he met and married Ann Dunham, a white woman from Wichita, Kansas, whose father had worked on oil rigs during the Great Depression and fought with the U.S. Army in World War II before moving his family to Hawaii in 1959. Barack and Anns son, Barack Hussein Obama Jr., was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

Did you know? Not only was Obama the first African-American president, he was also the first to be born outside the continental United States. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Obamas parents later separated, and Barack Sr. went back to Kenya. He would see his son only once more before dying in a car accident in 1982. Ann remarried in 1965. She and her new husband, an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro, moved with her young son to Jakarta in the late 1960s, where Ann worked at the U.S. embassy. Obamas half-sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born in Jakarta in 1970.

Barack Obamas Education

At age 10, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. He attended the Punahou School, an elite private school where, as he wrote in his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, he first began to understand the tensions inherent in his mixed racial background. After two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, from which he graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. While at Harvard, he became the first black editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

Barack Obama, Community Organizer and Attorney

After a two-year stint working in corporate research and at the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago, where he took a job as a community organizer with a church-based group, the Developing Communities Project. For the next several years, he worked with low-income residents in Chicagos Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the citys largely black South Side. Obama would later call the experience the best education I ever got, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School, the prestigious institution he entered in 1988.

Obama met his future wifeMichelle LaVaughn Robinson, a fellow Harvard Law School gradwhile working as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin. He married Michelle Obama at the Trinity United Church of Christ on October 3, 1992.

Obama went on to teach at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2003.

Senator Barack Obama

In 1996, Obama officially launched his own political career, winning election to the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat from the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park. Despite tight Republican control during his years in the state senate, Obama was able to build support among both Democrats and Republicans in drafting legislation on ethics and health care reform. He helped create a state earned-income tax credit that benefited the working poor, promoted subsidies for early childhood education programs and worked with law enforcement officials to require the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

Re-elected in 1998 and again in 2002, Obama also ran unsuccessfully in the 2000 Democratic primary for the U. S. House of Representatives seat held by the popular four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. As a state senator, Obama notably went on record as an early opponent of President George W. Bushs push to war with Iraq. During a rally at Chicagos Federal Plaza in October 2002, he spoke against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq: I am not opposed to all wars. Im opposed to dumb warsI know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U. S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

Barack Obamas Speech At the 2004 Democratic National Convention

When Republican Peter Fitzgerald announced that he would vacate his U.S. Senate seat in 2004 after only one term, Obama decided to run. He won 52 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, defeating both multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes. After his original Republican opponent in the general election, Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race, the former presidential candidate Alan Keyes stepped in. That July, Obama gave the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, shooting to national prominence with his eloquent call for unity among red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) states. It put the relatively unknown, young senator in the national spotlight.

In November 2004, Illinois delivered 70 percent of its votes to Obama (versus Keyes 27 percent), sending him to Washington as only the third African American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction.

During his tenure, Obama notably focused on issues of nuclear non-proliferation and the health threat posed by avian flu. With Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, he created a website that tracks all federal spending, aimed at rebuilding citizens trust in government. He partnered with another Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. In August 2006, Obama traveled to Kenya, where thousands of people lined the streets to welcome him. He published his second book, The Audacity of Hope, in October 2006.

2008 Presidential Campaign

On February 10, 2007, Obama formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States. A victory in the Iowa primary made him a viable challenger to the early frontrunner, the former first lady and current New York Senator Hillary Clinton, whom he outlasted in a grueling primary campaign to claim the Democratic nomination in early June 2008. Obama chose Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his running mate. Biden had been a U.S. senator from Delaware since 1972, was a one-time Democratic candidate for president and served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Obamas opponent was long-time Arizona Senator John S. McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war who chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. If elected, Palin would have been the nations first-ever female vice-president.

As in the primaries, Obamas campaign worked to build support at the grassroots level and used what supporters saw as the candidates natural charisma, unusual life story and inspiring message of hope and change to draw impressive crowds to Obamas public appearances, both in the U.S. and on a campaign trip abroad. They worked to bring new votersmany of them young or black, both demographics they believed favored Obamato become involved in the election.

A crushing financial crisis in the months leading up to the election shifted the nations focus to economic issues, and both Obama and McCain worked to show they had the best plan for economic improvement. With several weeks remaining, most polls showed Obama as the frontrunner. Sadly, Obamas maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died after a battle with cancer on November 3, the day before voters went to the polls. She had been a tremendously influential force in her grandsons life and had diligently followed his historic run for office from her home in Honolulu.

On November 4, lines at polling stations around the nation heralded a historic turnout and resulted in a Democratic victory, with Obama capturing some Republican strongholds (Virginia, Indiana) and key battleground states (Florida, Ohio) that had been won by Republicans in recent elections. Taking the stage in Chicagos Grant Park with his wife, Michelle, and their two young daughters, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama, he acknowledged the historic nature of his win while reflecting on the serious challenges that lay ahead. The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there.

Barack Obamas First Term as President

Barack Obama was sworn in as the first black president of the United States on January 20, 2009. Obamas inauguration set an attendance record, with 1.8 million people gathering in the cold to witness it. Obama was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. with the same Bible President Abraham Lincoln used at his first inaugural.

One of Obamas first acts in office was the signing of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which he signed just nine days into office, giving legal protection in the fight for equal pay for women. To address the financial crisis he inherited, he passed a stimulus bill, bailed out the struggling auto industry and Wall Street, and gave working families a tax cut.

In the foreign policy arena, Obama opened up talks with Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela and set a withdrawal date for American troops in Iraq. He was recognized with a 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, and for his vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as universal healthcare or Obamacare. Its goal was to give every American access to affordable healthcare by requiring everyone to have health insurance, but then providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions (a group that was previously often denied coverage) and requiring health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on providing actual medical services. It remains one of the Obama administrations most controversial legacies.

Barack Obamas Second Term as President

Barack Obama was reelected for a second term in 2012, beating out Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan. The 2014 midterm elections proved challenging, as Republicans gained a majority in both houses of Congress.

His second term was marked by several international events, including the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11 Attacks, by Seal Team Six on May 2, 2011. No Americans were lost in the operation, which gathered evidence about Al-Qaeda. In 2013, Obama came out strongly against the use of chemical weapons on civilians by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, avoiding a direct strike on Syria when al-Assad agreed to accept a Russian proposal that it relinquish its chemical weapons.

Perhaps the defining moment of his international diplomacy was his work on the Iran Nuclear Deal, which allowed inspectors into Iran to ensure it was under the pledged limit of enriched uranium in return for lifting economic sanctions. (Obamas successor, President Donald Trump, would withdraw from the deal in 2018).

Another defining moment of Obamas presidency came when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage on June 26, 2015. Obama remarked on that day: We are big and vast and diverse; a nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, different experiences and stories, but bound by our shared ideal that no matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.

The president and 24 other members of his administration weigh in on their proudest moments, their regrets and the belief that they left it all on the field.


Presidents and Their Children

Obama Arrives Back At The White House In Washington 2

Barack Obama

Citation Information

Barack Obama Sr.
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Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama, Sr..jpgBornBaraka Obama[1]
June 18, 1936[2]
Rachuonyo District, Nyang'oma Kogelo, KenyaDiedNovember 24, 1982 (aged46)
Nairobi, KenyaCauseof deathCar accidentEducationUniversity of Hawaii, Manoa (BA)
Harvard University (MA)Spouse(s)Kezia Aoko (m.1954)
Ann Dunham
(m.1961; div.1964)
Ruth Baker
(m.1964; div.1973)
Jael Otieno[3][4][5][6]Children8, including Auma and BarackParent(s)
  • Hussein Onyango Obama (father)
  • Habiba Akumu Obama (mother)
RelativesObama family

Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (/?b?r?k hu??se?n o??b??m?/;[7][8] 18 June 1936[2] 24 November 1982) was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. He is a central figure of his son's memoir, Dreams from My Father (1995). Obama married in 1954 and had two children with his first wife, Kezia. He was selected for a special program to attend college in the United States and studied at the University of Hawaii. There, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham, whom he married in 1961, and with whom he had a son, Barack II. She divorced him three years later.[9] The elder Obama later went to Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned an M.A. in economics, and returned to Kenya in 1964. He saw his son Barack once more, when he was about ten.

In late 1964, Obama Sr. married Ruth Beatrice Baker, a Jewish-American woman whom he had met in Massachusetts. They had two sons together before separating in 1971 and divorcing in 1973. Obama first worked for an oil company, before beginning work as an economist with the Kenyan Ministry of Transport. He gained a promotion to senior economic analyst in the Ministry of Finance. He was among a cadre of young Kenyan men who had been educated in the West in a program supported by Tom Mboya. Obama Sr. had conflicts with Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta, which adversely affected his career. He was fired and blacklisted in Kenya, finding it nearly impossible to get a job. Obama Sr. was involved in three serious car accidents during his final years; he died as a result of the last one in 1982.

Early life

Barack Obama Sr. was born in 1936 in Rachuonyo District[10] on the shores of Lake Victoria just outside Kendu Bay, British Kenya, at the time a colony and protectorate of the British Empire. He was raised in the village of Nyang'oma Kogelo, Siaya District, Nyanza Province.[11] His family are members of the Luo ethnic group.

His father was Onyango (later Hussein) Obama (c. 18951979), and his mother was Habiba Akumu Nyanjango (c. 19182006) of Karabondi, Kenya, Onyango's second wife. They had two daughters and a son together, Barack Obama (Sr). After Akumu separated from Onyango and left the family in 1945, her three children were raised by Onyango's third wife, Sarah Ogwel of Kogelo.[12][13]

As a young man, Onyango Obama traveled widely, enlisting in the British colonial forces and visiting Europe, India, and Zanzibar. There, he converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam and took the name Hussein. He became a cook for missionaries and a local herbalist in Nairobi.

The Times of London, relying on statements by Obama's third wife, Sarah Onyango Obama, 87, reported that in 1949, after becoming more politically active, Obama was jailed by the British for two years for suspicion of supplying military information to the Kenyan independence movement, owing to "His job as a cook to a British army officer."[14][15] According to Sarah, Obama was subjected to beatings and abuse that left him with physical scars and a loathing of the British.[14] David Maraniss' 2012 biography of President Barack Obama states that his grandfather Obama did not participate in the insurrections; nor was he ever imprisoned by the British during the uprising. He continued to be trusted by white Kenyans.[16][17]

When Obama (Sr.) was about six years old and attending a Christian missionary school, he converted from Islam to Anglicanism when strongly encouraged by the staff. He changed his name from "Baraka" to "Barack."[1] Obama (Sr.) later became an atheist, believing that religion was mere superstition.[18]

While still living near Kendu Bay, Obama (Sr.) attended Gendia Primary School. After his family moved to Siaya District, he transferred to Ng'iya Intermediate School.[10] From 1950 to 1953, he studied at Maseno National School, an exclusive Anglican boarding school in Maseno.[19] The head teacher, B.L. Bowers, described Obama in his records as "very keen, steady, trustworthy and friendly. Concentrates, reliable and out-going."[20]

Marriages and family

In 1954 at age 18, Obama (Sr.) married Kezia Aoko[21] in a tribal ceremony in Kenya. They had two children, Malik (a.k.a. Roy) and Auma, during the early years of their marriage.[22]

Obama married two other women. In 1960 while studying at the University of Hawai'i on a special government-sponsored program, he met and dated Stanley Ann Dunham, an American woman. She became pregnant and they were married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961, despite parental opposition from both families.[23][24] Their son, future US president Barack Obama, was born in August 1961. They later separated and divorced on 20 March 1964, whereupon Ann Dunham was granted sole custody of their son.[22][9]

After his 1962 graduation from the University of Hawaii, Obama (Sr.) went to Harvard University for a doctoral program in economics, but left the university after completing his master's degree. At Harvard he started dating Ruth Beatrice Baker, a Jewish-American woman. She went with him to Kenya in 1964. They married late that year and had two sons, Mark and David. The couple separated in 1971 and divorced in 1973.

In Kenya, Obama (Sr.) reconnected with his first wife Kezia. She had two sons after his return: Abo (b. 1968) and Bernard (b. 1970), believed to be his children.[22]

Barack Obama, in his memoir Dreams from My Father (1995), said that his father's family had questioned whether Abo and Bernard are Barack Sr.'s biological sons.[25]

The senior Obama fathered his last son George in 1982 with Jael Otinyo. George was about six months old when Obama was killed in a car accident. He was raised by his mother, who later remarried; his stepfather cared for him as well.[22]

College and graduate school

In 1959, the Kenyan Department of Education published Obama's monograph, entitled Otieno jarieko. Kitabu mar ariyo. 2: Yore mabeyo mag puro puothe. (English: Otieno, the wise man. Book 2: Wise ways of farming.)[26][27]

Due to his accomplishments, in 1959 Obama received a scholarship in economics through a program organized by the nationalist leader Tom Mboya. The program offered education in the West to outstanding Kenyan students.[28][29] Initial financial supporters of the program included Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Jackie Robinson, and Elizabeth Mooney Kirk, a literacy advocate who provided most of the financial support for Obama's early years in the United States.[30] Kirk and her literacy associate Helen M. Roberts of Palo Alto raised the money necessary for Obama to travel to the US.[31][32]

When Obama left for the United States, he left behind his young wife, Kezia, and their baby son Malik. Kezia was pregnant, and their daughter Auma was born while her father was in Hawaii.[33] At Obama's request, Helen Roberts committed to watching over and financially supporting the family that he had left behind, for as long as she remained in Nairobi.[34]

University of Hawaii

In 1959, Obama enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu as the university's first African foreign student.[35] He initially lived across the street from the university at the Charles H. Atherton branch of the YMCA at 1810 University Avenue;[35] public records from 1961 indicate he later had a residence two miles southeast of the university at 625 11th Avenue in the Kaimuki neighborhood.[36]

In 1960, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham in a basic Russian language course at the University of Hawaii and they started dating.[35] After becoming pregnant, Dunham dropped out of the University of Hawaii after the fall 1960 semester, while Obama continued his education.[37] Obama married Dunham in Wailuku on the Hawaiian island of Maui on 2 February 1961.[37][38] He eventually told Dunham about his previous marriage in Kenya, but said he was divorcedwhich she found out years later was not true.[35]

Their son Barack Obama II, was born in Honolulu on 4 August 1961 at the former Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital (succeeded by the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children).[35] His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, with his parents' address listed as 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in the Kuliouou neighborhood of Honolulu, seven miles east of the universitythe rented home of Dunham's parents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham.[36] Soon after her son's birth, Dunham took the infant with her to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962.[39]

Obama Sr. continued his education at the University of Hawaii and in 19611962 lived one mile east of the university in the St. Louis Heights neighborhood.[40][41] He graduated from the University of Hawaii after three years with a B.A. in economics[42] and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.[43] He left Hawaii in June 1962.[44][35]

Harvard University

In September 1962, after a tour of mainland U.S. universities, Obama Sr. traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he began a graduate fellowship in economics at Harvard University. He rented an apartment in a rooming house near Central Square in Cambridge.[29][45] Meanwhile, Dunham and their son returned to Honolulu in the latter half of 1962, and she resumed her undergraduate education in January 1963 in the spring semester at the University of Hawaii.[39] In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce in Honolulu; the divorce was not contested by Obama.[37][46] In 1965, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro,[47] a Javanese[48] surveyor whom she had met at the East-West Center.[49]

Obama was forced to leave his Ph.D. program at Harvard University in May 1964 (and received an M.A. in economics from Harvard in 1965).[44][29][38][50][51] In June 1964, Obama met and began dating a 27-year-old Jewish-American elementary school teacher named Ruth Beatrice Baker, the daughter of prosperous Lithuanian immigrants to the United States.[52][53][54]

Return to Kenya

Third marriage

Obama returned to Kenya in 1964 after graduating from Harvard.[55] Baker followed him, and they married 24 December 1964.[56] They had two sons together, Mark Okoth Obama in 1965 and David Opiyo Obama in 1968.[57] Baker and Obama separated in 1971,[58][59] and divorced in 1973.[44][29] Baker subsequently married a Tanzanian man named Ndesandjo and took his surname, as did her sons Mark and David. Mark said in 2009 that Obama had been abusive to him, his late brother David, and their mother.[22][53][54]

Economics career

Obama first worked as an economist for an oil company in Kenya. In 1965, Obama published a paper entitled "Problems Facing Our Socialism" in the East Africa Journal, harshly criticizing the blueprint for national planning, "African Socialism and Its Applicability to Planning in Kenya", developed by Tom Mboya's Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.[60] Obama served as an economist in the Kenyan Ministry of Transport. Later he was promoted to senior economist in the Kenyan Ministry of Finance.[61]

In 1970, Obama was in a serious automobile accident, and was hospitalized for nearly a year. In December 1971, he traveled to Hawai'i for a month.[62] There he visited with his ex-wife Ann Dunham and American son Barack II, who was nearly 10. The visit was the last time the boy would see his father.[24] During his trip, Obama took his son to his first jazz concert, a performance by the pianist Dave Brubeck.[63]

His son recalled Obama giving him his first basketball:

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I only remember my father for one month my whole life, when I was 10. And it wasn't until much later in life that I realized, like, he gave me my first basketball and it was shortly thereafter that I became this basketball fanatic. And he took me to my first jazz concert and it was sort of shortly thereafter that I became really interested in jazz and music. So what it makes you realize how much of an impact [even if it's only a month] that they have on you. But I think probably the most important thing was his absence I think contributed to me really wanting to be a good dad, you know? Because I think not having him there made me say to myself "you know what I want to make sure my girls feel like they've got somebody they can rely on."[64]

Final years and death

Grave of Barack Obama Sr. in home of Sarah Onyango Obama in village Nyang'oma Kogelo in Siaya County, Kenya, 19 August 2016

According to Barack II's memoir, Obama's continuing conflict with Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta destroyed his career.[65] He came under suspicion after Tom Mboya was assassinated in 1969, as he had been a protege of the ruler. Kenyatta fired Obama, who was blacklisted in Kenya and found it impossible to get work. By the time Obama visited his son in Hawaii in 1971, he had a bad leg from the 1970 accident.[66]

Obama later lost both legs in a second serious automobile accident, and subsequently lost his job. His life deteriorated as he struggled with poverty and drinking. During his final decade, he never recovered his former standing. His friend Philip Ochieng, a journalist of the Kenya newspaper, Daily Nation, has described Obama's difficult personality and drinking problems. In 1982, Obama had a relationship with Jael Otinyo and with her fathered his last son, named George Obama. Six months after George's birth, Obama died in a car crash in Nairobi. He was interred in his native village of Nyang'oma Kogelo, Siaya District.[13][20] His funeral was attended by ministers Robert Ouko, Peter Oloo-Aringo, and other prominent political figures.[10]


  • Otieno jarieko (Otieno, the Wise Man: A Series of Readers to Follow the Luo Adult Literacy Primer) (in Luo). Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau, Eagle Press. 1959. cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  • "Problems facing our socialism: another critique of Sessional Paper No. 10" (PDF). East Africa Journal. Nairobi. 2 (4): 2633. July 1965. ISSN0012-8309. Retrieved 6 May 2011.

See also

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  • Family of Barack Obama


^ a b Jacobs (2011), p. 26: Her brother Baraka, as she [Hawa Auma] recalls, converted to Christianity when he was about six years old and changed his name to the more Christian-sounding Barack because the Christian missionaries at the early schools that he attended insisted that he do so. ^ a b Jacobs (2011), p. 261: 27. Barack Obama's date of birth is unclear. His earliest school records bear no birth date. His University of Hawaii transcript records his birthdate as 18 June 1934. His marriage certificate and resumes indicate he was born in 1936. U.S. immigration records show his year of birth as both 1934 and 1936. Family members say they believe he was born in 1936. ^ Fornek, Scott; Good, Greg (9 September 2007). "The Obama family tree" (PDF). Chicago Sun-Times. pp.2B3B. Retrieved 22 March 2008. ^ Crilly, Rob (22 August 2008). "Life is good in my Nairobi slum, says Barack Obama's younger brother". The Times. London. p.37. Retrieved 23 August 2008. ^ Pflanz, Mike (21 August 2008). "Barack Obama is my inspiration, says lost brother". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 August 2008. ^ "The President's Kin" (PDF). New York. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2012. ^ Sally H. Jacobs. The Other Barack. PublicAffairs. 2011. Excerpt at Retrieved 16 September 2011. Quote: "The Old Man had also been called Barack, but his was a working man's name, with the emphasis on the first syllable." ^ Interview of Sally H. Jacobs by John Batchelor. Archived 18 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine The John Batchelor Show. 16 July 2011 (19:1019:50). Retrieved 16 September 2011. ^ a b Cejka, T. Diane (30 November 2011). "Obama Immigration Records FOIA Requests". Scribd. H. S. Mathers. p.115. Retrieved 25 September 2015. ^ a b c Oywa, John; Olwenya, George (14 November 2008). "Obama's dad and his many loves". The Standard. Nairobi. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2008. ^ Ombour, Joe (4 November 2008). "Obama's father and the origin of Muslim name". The Standard. Nairobi. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008. ^ Powell, Kimberly (2008). "Ancestry of Barack Obama". New York: Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2008. ^ a b Reitwiesner, William Addams (2008). "Ancestry of Barack Obama". Washington, D.C.: (William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services). Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008. ^ a b MacIntyre, Ben; Orengoh, Paul (3 December 2008). "Beatings and abuse made Barack Obama's grandfather loathe the British". The Times (69497). London. p.6. Archived from the original on 20 January 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009. ^ "Dec. 12, 1963 - Kenya Gains Independence". The Learning Network. The New York Times. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2014. ^ JAMES FALLOWS The Making of the President Barack Obama, by David Maraniss, New York Times, 14 June 2012 ^ David Maraniss BARACK OBAMA The Story Simon & Schuster ^ Obama, Barack (16 October 2006). "My spiritual journey". Time. Retrieved 5 March 2008. My father was almost entirely absent from my childhood, having been divorced from my mother when I was 2 years old; in any event, although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist, thinking religion to be so much superstition. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), p. 418. ^ a b Oywa, John (4 November 2008). "Tracing Obama Snr's steps as a student at Maseno School". The Standard. Nairobi. Retrieved 8 November 2008. ^ "Fascinating story of Obama family". The Standard. Nairobi. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2009. ^ a b c d e Foreman, William (4 November 2009). "Obama's half brother: our father was abusive; new novel 'Nairobi to Shenzhen' is patterned in part on Barack Obama, Sr". Associated Press. Retrieved 5 November 2009. ^ Jones, Tim (27 March 2007). "Barack Obama: mother not just a girl from Kansas; Stanley Ann Dunham shaped a future senator". Chicago Tribune. chicago tribune. p.1. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009. ^ a b Meacham, Jon (23 August 2008). "On his own". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010. (online)
Meacham, Jon (1 September 2008). "On his own". Newsweek. 152 (9): 2636. ("Special Democratic Convention issue") (print) ^ Obama (1995, 2004), p. 335 ^ Bade, David W. (2000). "Books in African languages in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University: a catalog" (PDF). Evanston, Ill.: Program of African Studies, Northwestern University. p.304 (#3729). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2009. ^ Spak, Kara (7 December 2010). "Obama's African sales appeal on exhibit". Chicago Sun-Times. p.20. Retrieved 20 January 2011. ^ Dobbs, Michael (30 March 2008). "Obama overstates Kennedys' role in helping his father". The Washington Post. p.A1. Retrieved 24 February 2011. ^ a b c d Jacobs, Sally (21 September 2008). "A father's charm, absence". The Boston Globe. p.1A. Retrieved 14 August 2009. ... Pake Zane, 66, who attended the University of Hawaii with Obama and had not publicly discussed their 1974 conversation until now. Zane was astonished at the transformation in his once vibrant friend, who had been divorced by his third wife a year before. ^ "Tom Mboya Archives", Library, Stanford University ^ Shachtman, Tom (2009). Airlift to America. St. Martin's Press. pp.49. ISBN978-0-312-57075-0. ^ Seccombe, Mike (27 August 2009). "Unlikely Events Recall Story Of This President". Vineyard Gazette. Martha's Vineyard, MA. ^ Rice, Xan (6 June 2008). "'Barack's voice was just like his father'sI thought he had come back from the dead'". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2008. ^ Jacobs, Sally H. (2011). The Other Barack. PublicAffairs. pp.7273, 9091, 129130. ISBN978-1-58648-793-5. ^ a b c d e f Maraniss, David (24 August 2008). "Though Obama had to leave to find himself, it is Hawaii that made his rise possible". The Washington Post. p.A22. Retrieved 24 February 2011. ^ a b Hoover, Will (9 November 2008). "Obama's Hawaii boyhood homes drawing gawkers". The Honolulu Advertiser. p.A1. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ a b c Ripley, Amanda (9 April 2008). "The story of Barack Obama's mother". Time. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2008. (online)
Ripley, Amanda (21 April 2008). "A mother's story". Time. 171 (16): 3640, 42. ("Raising Obama" cover story) (print) ^ a b Salsberg, Bob (29 April 2011). "Files suggest elder Obama forced to leave Harvard". The Arizona Republic. Associated Press. Retrieved 1 May 2011. President Barack Obama's father was forced to leave Harvard University before completing his Ph.D. in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances, according to newly public immigration records. ^ a b Dougherty, Phil (10 February 2009). "Barack Obama moves to Seattle in August or early September 1961". Seattle: Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ Griffin, John (22 June 1962). "First UH African graduate gives view on E-W Center". The Honolulu Advertiser. An off-campus resident himself (St. Louis Heights) Obama thinks it's a mistake to have the East-West students in dormitories. ^ Brannon, Johnny (10 February 2007). "Hawai'i's imperfect melting pot a big influence on young Obama". The Honolulu Advertiser. p.1A. Retrieved 21 January 2011. The elder Obama lived first at the Atherton YMCA on University Avenue and later moved to St. Louis Heights. ^ "President Obama's connection to UH Economics". Honolulu: Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ "U.S. Presidents share a Phi Beta Kappa connection". Focus News. Washington, D.C.: Phi Beta Kappa Society. 21 January 2009. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2009. ^ a b c Sanders, Edmund (17 July 2008). "So alike and yet so different". Los Angeles Times. p.A1. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2009. Obama's worsening drinking binges strained his career and marriage. "He would pass out on the doorstep," said Leo Odera Omolo, a former drinking buddy and friend of the family. "Ruth would complain he's getting out of hand." The couple divorced in the early 1970s. ^ "Kenya student wins fellowship". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 20 June 1962. p.7. A 1962 graduate, he leaves next week for a tour of Mainland universities before entering Harvard in the fall. ^ Merida, Kevin (14 December 2007). "The ghost of a father". The Washington Post. p.A12. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ Nakaso, Dan (12 September 2008). "Obama's mother's work focus of UH seminar". The Honolulu Advertiser. p.1A. Retrieved 5 February 2011. At UH, she fell in love with a Javanese candidate for a master's degree in geography named Soetoro Martodihardjo, who went by the Javanese nickname 'Lolo' Soetoro. They married in 1965 ... ^ Dewey, Alice; White, Geoffrey (November 2008). "Ann Dunham: a personal reflection". Anthropology News. 49 (8): 20. doi:10.1111/an.2008.49.8.20. reprinted by:
Dewey, Alice; White, Geoffrey (9 March 2009). "Ann Dunham: a personal reflection". Honolulu: University of Hawaii Department of Anthropology. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ Solomon, Deborah (20 January 2008). "Questions for Maya Soetoro-Ng: All in the family". The New York Times. p.17. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ Jacobs (2011), p. 159. ^ . (1970). Harvard alumni directory (14th ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Alumni Association. p.1240. ISSN0895-1683.
. (1986). Harvard alumni directory, vol. 1 (17th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Alumni Association. p.904. ISSN0895-1683. ^ Jacobs (2011), pp. 160161. ^ a b Jacobs, Andrew (4 November 2009). "An Obama relative living in China tells of his own journey of self-discovery". The New York Times. p.A10. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ a b Demick, Barbara (5 November 2009). "Obama's half brother describes abuse". Los Angeles Times. p.A32. Retrieved 21 January 2011. ^ Jacobs (2011), p. 165. ^ Jacobs (2011), p. 177. ^ Ochieng, Philip (1 November 2004). "From home squared to the US Senate: how Barack Obama was lost and found". The EastAfrican. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2008. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), p. 126: [Ann Dunham]: "Later, when he came to visit us in Hawaii that time, he wanted us to come live with him. But I was still married to Lolo then, and his third wife had just left him, and I just didn't think ..." ^ Obama (1995, 2004), p. 216: [Auma Obama]: "She left when I was twelve or thirteen, after the Old Man had had a serious car accident. He had been drinking, I think, and the Old Man was in the hospital, almost a year, and Roy and I lived on our own. When the Old Man finally got out of the hospital, that's when he went to visit you and your mum in Hawaii." ^ Smith, Ben; Ressner, Jeffrey (15 April 2008). "Long-lost article by Obama's dad surfaces". Retrieved 20 January 2011. ^ Fornek, Scott (9 September 2007). "Barack Obama Sr.: 'Wrestling with ... a ghost'". Chicago Sun Times. p.4B. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2008. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 6271, 216. ^ "Kennedy Center honoree Brubeck's ties to Obama". New England Cable News. 6 December 2009. Archived from the original on 12 December 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2011. ^ (21 November 2011). "Dinner with Barack: Two Teachers, an Army Veteran, a Small Business Owner, and The President". YouTube. Retrieved 24 November 2011. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 214216. ^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 6471, 212219.


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  • Obama, Barack (2004) [1995]. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN1-4000-8277-3.
  • Jacobs, Sally H. (2011). The other Barack: the bold and reckless life of President Obama's father. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN1-58648-793-0.
  • v
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Barack Obama
  • 44th President of the United States (20092017)
  • U.S. Senator from Illinois (20052008)
  • Illinois Senator from the 13th district (19972004)
Life and politics
  • Early life and career
  • Illinois Senate career
  • 2004 Democratic National Convention
  • U.S. Senate career
  • Political positions
    • Administration foreign policy
    • Economic
    • Energy
    • Loggerhead sea turtles
    • Mass surveillance
    • Social
    • Space
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • West Wing Week
  • Transition
  • 2009 inauguration
  • 2013 inauguration
  • First 100 days
  • Timeline
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
    • January 2017
  • Foreign policy
    • War in Afghanistan
    • Iraq withdrawal
    • Death of Osama bin Laden
    • Benghazi attack
    • Iran deal
    • Cuban thaw
    • Obama Doctrine
  • Health Care reform
  • Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
  • New START
  • Pardons
  • Presidential trips
    • international
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
  • Judicial appointments
    • Supreme Court
    • controversies
  • Cabinet
  • Presidential Library and Center
  • Executive Orders
  • Presidential Proclamations
  • Dreams from My Father (1995)
  • The Audacity of Hope (2006)
  • Of Thee I Sing (2010)
  • "The Audacity of Hope" (2004)
  • "Yes We Can" (2008)
  • "A More Perfect Union" (2008)
  • "Change Has Come to America" (2008)
  • "A New Birth of Freedom" (2009)
  • Joint session of Congress (2009)
  • "A New Beginning" (2009)
  • Joint session of Congress (health care reform) (2009)
  • State of the Union Address
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
    • 2015
    • 2016
  • Tucson memorial speech (2011)
  • Joint session of Congress (jobs) (2011)
  • "You didn't build that" (2012)
  • Selma 50th anniversary (2015)
  • Farewell address (2017)
  • Illinois State Senate election, 1996, 1998, 2002
  • 2000 Illinois's 1st congressional district election
  • 2004 United States Senate election
  • 2008 Democratic presidential primaries
  • 2012
    • 2008 Obama primary campaign
  • Democratic National Convention
    • 2008
    • 2012
  • 2008 Presidential campaign
    • endorsements
    • GOP/conservative support
  • 2008 Presidential election
  • 2012 Presidential campaign
    • endorsements
  • 2012 Presidential election
    • international reactions
  • Michelle Obama (wife)
  • Ann Dunham (mother)
  • Barack Obama Sr. (father)
  • Lolo Soetoro (step-father)
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng (maternal half-sister)
  • Stanley Armour Dunham (maternal grandfather)
  • Madelyn Dunham (maternal grandmother)
  • Marian Shields Robinson (mother-in-law)
  • Craig Robinson (brother-in-law)
  • Bo (family dog)
  • Sunny (family dog)
Public imageNews and
political events
  • Oprah Winfrey's endorsement
  • Citizenship conspiracy theories
    • litigation
    • legislation
  • Religion conspiracy theories
  • Bill Ayers controversy
  • Jeremiah Wright controversy
  • Republican and conservative support (2008)
  • Assassination threats
    • 2008 Denver
    • 2008 Tennessee
  • First inauguration invitations
  • Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
  • Citizen's Briefing Book
  • Tea Party protests
  • New Energy for America
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  • Gates-Crowley Rose Garden meeting
  • Firing of Shirley Sherrod
  • Impeachment efforts
Books about
  • Bibliography
  • Obama: From Promise to Power
  • Barack Obama: Der schwarze Kennedy
  • Redemption Song
  • The Case Against Barack Obama
  • The Obama Nation
  • Culture of Corruption
  • Catastrophe
  • Barack and Michelle
  • The Speech
  • The Obama Story
  • Game Change
  • Game Change 2012
  • Rising Star
  • Obama Girl
    • "I Got a Crush... on Obama"
  • "Barack the Magic Negro"
    • "Yes We Can"
    • "We Are the Ones"
  • "There's No One as Irish as Barack O'Bama"
  • "Si Se Puede Cambiar"
  • "My President"
  • "Deadheads for Obama"
  • "Air and Simple Gifts"
  • Change Is Now
  • Hope! Das Obama Musical
  • "Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney"
  • Barack's Dubs
  • "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"
  • By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)
  • Change (2010)
  • 2016: Obama's America (2012)
  • The Road We've Traveled (2012)
  • Southside with You (2016)
  • Barry (2016)
Other media
  • On social media
  • Artists for Obama
  • "Hope" poster
  • "Joker" poster
  • Situation Room
  • President Barack Obama (2018 portrait)
  • Obama logo
  • In comics
  • Barack Obama Day (Illinois)
  • Obama Day (Kenya)
  • Awards and honors
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  • "One Last Time (44 Remix)"
  • < George W. Bush
  • Donald Trump >
  • Wikipedia book Book
  • Category Category
Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
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  • ISNI: 0000 0000 3916 4417
  • LCCN: n2008075664
  • NTA: 315986379
  • SNAC: w60v94b0
  • SUDOC: 157216772
  • VIAF: 65950556
  • WorldCat Identities: lccn-n2008075664
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