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Barack Obama Biography

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• Part 2: Meteoric Rise

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Part 1: Formative Years

Barack Obama is the son of an African man and an American woman. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in a small village in Kenya. Ann Dunham, the mother of Barack Jr., was born in a small town in Kansas.

Barack Sr. and Ann met in Hawaii. He was attending the University of Hawaii on scholarship, and her family had moved there after her father had returned from fighting in World War II. Barack Jr. was born on August 4, 1961.

Barack Sr. returned to Kenya, and Ann reared Barack Jr. by herself. They lived in Hawaii and in Indonesia. Barack attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, then moved to New York and ended up graduating with a political science degree from Columbia University, in 1983, one year after his father died in a car crash.

A couple years later, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer and director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based group formed to improve living conditions for people in poor neighborhoods. A few years later, he went back to school, earning his law degree in 1991, from Harvard. He was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.

During a summer work study in Chicago in 1989, Obama had as his adviser a woman named Michelle Robinson. They worked together for a few months and began dating after awhile. They were engaged in 1991 and married in 1992. Their first child, Malia, was born in 1998. Natasha, their second child, was born in 2001.

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