Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961.
His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born in Kenya. His
father grew up herding goats as a domestic servant. His father later
won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and attend the
University of Hawaii.
Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Kansas.
Ann's father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and later signed up
for World War II after Pearl Harbor. Her mother went to work on a
bomber assembly line during the war. After the war, her parents
moved to Hawaii.
Barack's parents, Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. met at
the University of Hawaii where they were both attending school.
The marriage between Obama's
parents was a short-lived one and when Barack was two years old his
parents divorced. Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya and
later died in a car accident there in the early 1980s.
Barack's mother remarried a man from Indonesia who
worked in the oil industry. When Barack was six, they moved to
Indonesia near the capital of Jakarta where his half-sister Maya was born. At the age of ten, Barack returned to Hawaii, and lived with his
maternal grandparents; later his mother and sister returned as well.
Barack was called "Barry" by his family and friends and he was sent to a
private academy called Punahou School in Honolulu.
Barack Obama graduated from Punahou and went on to
attend Occidental College in Los Angeles. Midway through, he transferred to
Columbia University in New York City where he graduated from in 1983.
Barack admitted that there was a time that he
experimented with drugs. He stated in an interview with Kenneth
Meeks for Black Enterprise. "I was affected by the problems
that I think a lot of young African American teens have. They feel
that they need to rebel against society as a way of proving their
blackness. And often, this results in self-destructive behavior."
He earned his undergraduate degree in political science
and he became a community organizer in Harlem. He later moved to
Chicago to work for a church-based social-services organization there. The
group was active on the city's South Side.
Barack Obama soon applied to and was accepted at Harvard
Law School. In 1990, he was elected president of the Harvard Law
Review journal. He was the first African American to serve in the
post. After graduation from law school, he declined job offers from
top Manhattan law firms, with starting salaries that neared the
$100,000-a-year range. Barack chose to return to Chicago and
work for a small firm that specialized in civil-rights law. His work
involved defending the poor in housing and employment discrimination
During his Harvard Law School years, Barack took a job
as a summer associate at a Chicago firm and the attorney assigned to
mentor him was Michelle Robinson. Robinson came from a
working-class black family and grew up on the South Side. The two
began dating and were married in 1992.
Barack's advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois
State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the
third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S.
Senate. Barack was chosen as the presidential candidate for the
Democratic Party in August of 2008.
Barack is proud and grateful for his family, his wife,
Michelle, and his two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Answer the questions below.
1. In what state was Barack Obama born?
2. Barack Obama's father was born in
3. Barack Obama's mother was born in
4. Barack Obama was two years old when his parents
5. When Barack Obama was six, his family moved to
6. At the age of ten, Barack moved
back to Hawaii and lived with his
7. Barack's family and friends
8. Barack Obama earned his
undergraduate degree in the field of
None of the Above
9. Barack Obama went to law school
10. Barack Obama was elected
of the Harvard Law
11. Barack Obama met an attorney
and later married her.
12. Barack Obama served eight
years in the
Illinois State Senate
Illinois State Assembly
Illinois State Penitentiary
None of the Above
13. Barack Obama is most proud of
Work in the US Senate
Work in the Illinois Senate
14. After Harvard Law School,
Barack worked on civil-rights cases.
15. The Democratic Party chose
Barack Obama as their presidential candidate in August of 2008.
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