Barack Obama Biography

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Birth Name: Barack Obama
Born: 08/04/1961
Birth Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

After welcoming two daughters, Malia, born 1998, and Sasha, born 2001, Obama saw his political star shine even brighter when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. He surprised many when he ran for and won the 2008 U.S. presidency over challenger John McCain, becoming the first African-American president and beating out fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, who would become his biggest ally as Secretary of State. Although many of his more hysterical critics called his nationality, religion and loyalty to America into question, Obama earned the seal of approval from Oprah Winfrey and, for many, represented the best in American ideals: optimism, intelligence and compassion. Faced with a difficult economy, persistent underlying racism and vicious attacks from his opponents, Obama managed to achieve many impressive feats, including helping save the auto industry, pushing the health care reform known as "Obamacare" through, ending the Iraq War, and authorizing the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden. Showered with awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama epitomized a new breed of leader: youthful but confident, health-conscious but a smoker, effortlessly cool but a closet Trekkie. Able to sing like Al Green, eloquent beyond all measure and happy to poke fun at himself, Obama was enormously popular around the world, but he still faced a difficult battle for his 2012 reelection. After an exhausting, bruising campaign, he defeated Mitt Romney to earn four more years, celebrating with a photo of himself hugging Michelle, which became the most retweeted image of all time.

By Jonathan Riggs