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Profile of Barack Obama
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After a bruising primary battle with Hillary Clinton, he won
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Hello, I am Tom Ankner, a professional researcher. I am here for About.com to present a profile of President Barack Obama.Barack Hussein Obama II was born in August 1961 in Hawaii, the son of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father. His parents separated when he was less than a month old. He saw his father only once after the separation. When he was 10 years old, his father visited Hawaii for the Christmas holidays.Obama spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Hawaii, but lived in Indonesia for four years with his mother and Indonesian step-father. At age 10, he returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, while his mother remained in Indonesia to pursue work as an anthropologist.Obama entered Occidental College, in 1979. After two years at Occidental, he transferred to Columbia University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1983. After college, he moved to Chicago in 1985, where he worked in low-income communities on the South Side.He visited Kenya, his father’s homeland, for the first time in 1988, a few months before beginning law school at Harvard University. At Harvard, he became the first African American editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He received his law degree in 1991.He then moved back to Chicago where he worked for a Chicago law firm and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. In 1992, he married Michelle Robinson. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Barack and Michelle Obama have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.His memoir, Dreams From My Father, was published in 1995. The book details his struggles with race and identity. Obama’s first foray into electoral politics took place in 1996, when he won a seat in the Illinois State Senate. He later ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives, before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.He first captured national attention when he delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The stirring speech established him as a rising star in the party. After being encouraged by fellow Democrats in Congress, he entered the race for president in early 2007. After a bruising primary battle with Hillary Clinton, he won the nomination. He went on to beat Republican John McCain in the general election in November 2008.President Obama’s election campaign in 2008 appealed to people’s desire for hope and change. But taking office just four months after an economic collapse presented challenges for the new president.Obama’s first attempt to end the Great Recession was a stimulus bill, passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in February 2009.While the stimulus bill was controversial, the response to it was nothing compared to the Affordable Care Act, which opponents have labelled Obamacare. The bill, which aims to insure an additional 30 million Americans, survived a Supreme Court challenge but has proven unpopular with the public. Other than Obamacare, the president is able to point to other achievements during his term. His administration provided a bailout to the American auto industry, which was on the verge of collapse when he took office, but has now rebounded and paid off loans to the U.S. government. He pulled American troops out of Iraq and has planned for withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014. And in a dramatic encounter, Special Operations troops killed Osama Bin Laden, the planner of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. His administration has hinged mostly on economic issues, as unemployment remains high and other economic numbers have been disappointing. And that's some information about Barack Obama. To learn more please visit About.com.
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