Barack Obama Biography
Posted on November 7, 2008
Barack Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr. is awarded scholarship from an American program offering Western educational opportunities. Age 23, Barack Obama Sr. leaves behind his pregnant wife, Kezia, and son. He arrives in US to study math and economics at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, as the first African student there.
-February 2: Barack Obama Sr., 25, marries 18-year-old Ann Dunham, a white American he meets in a Russian-language class. The ceremony takes place at Maui where Ann Dunham is already three months pregnant with Barack Obama, Jr. She is unaware of Barack Obama Sr.’s first wife. The couple settles in Honolulu.
-August 4: Barack Obama Jr. is born at the Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Following Barack Obama Junior’s birth, Ann Dunham drops out of college.
-Barack Obama Sr. wins a scholarship to Harvard for a graduate program. He moves to Boston leaving behind his wife Ann and their 2-year-old Barack Obama Jr. The relationship between them gradually deteriorates.
-Ann returns to college. Her parents help take care of baby Barack Obama.
-Ann Dunham files for divorce from Barack Obama Sr.
-After a while Ann Dunham falls in love with Lolo Soetoro of Indonesia, and they start dating.
Barack Obama Sr. completes his Masters and goes back to Kenya with Ruth Nidesand, an American-born teacher, his third wife.
Ann Dunham marries Lolo Soetoro. When Barack Obama Jr. is 6 years old, they move to Jakarta. In Indonesia, Barack Obama becomes familiar with poverty where their own home has no stable electricity and their neighbourhood streets are unpaved. Ann becomes an English teacher at the American embassy. Barack Obama Jr. attends Franciscus Assisi Primary School, a Catholic school.
Obama’s stepfather is promoted in the American Oil Company. He relocates the family to a better neighbourhood. Consequently, Barack Obama leaves the Catholic school and attends a public school.
Barack Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro, is born. However, Ann Dunham’s second marriage begins to disintegrate. She misses her home in US and wants her children to grow and be educated there.
At 10, Barack is sent back to Hawaii to live with his white grandparents. With the help of Ann’s parents, he gets a scholarship to Punahou, a prestigious prep school in Honolulu. Being one of few black students at school, he is regarded as ‘the black kid from Indonesia.’ Barack Obama’s separation from his mother has a tremendous impact on him.
-Ann Dunham returns to Hawaii with 2-year-old Maya to join Barack, now 11, leaving her husband behind.
-In Hawaii, Ann Dunham pursues a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. She and her two children live in Honolulu.
-During this year, Barack Obama’s father arrives from Kenya, where he plans on the many things Barack Junior should be doing. Young Barack doesn’t feel that his father is entitled to make such decisions and this becomes the very last visit from his father.
-Barack Obama begins his first year at Occidental College, Los Angeles. Having befriended several black students, he still feels distant.
-At the end of sophomore year, Barack Obama transfers to Columbia University, New York, where he becomes a disciplined student.
Ann Dunham files for divorce from her second husband, Lolo Seotoro.
-Obama receives notice about his father’s death from a car accident.
-Obama decides to pursue a career as a community organiser to confront the issues of race and poverty.
-After graduation, he takes a job with Developing Communities Project in Chicago and begins working to improve the conditions of a public housing project.
-Obama successfully carries out several projects, including school reform, hazardous waste cleanup and establishing a job-training centre.
-Obama get accepted to Harvard Law School.
-Before beginning his studies, he visits Kenya, and arrives at his father’s hometown. He arrives there to learn more about his father, his identity. He meets his late father’s family for the first time and slowly realises his father’s struggles. Barack now feels that his work is directly connected to the struggles of his Kenyan family. He claims: “[the visit] helped unify my outward self with my inward self in an important way.”
-At the end of his first year at Harvard Law School, a top law firm hires Obama as a summer intern in Chicago. There, Obama meets Michelle Robinson, and they start dating.
Obama becomes the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.
-Obama graduates from Harvard with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude.
-Obama signs with a publisher and begins to write an autobiography titled, Dreams from My Father where he discloses his personal struggles.
-Obama returns to Chicago.
-Obama begins working at the firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard as a junior lawyer.
-October 10: Obama and Michelle Robinson get married.
-Obama is teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.
-1992 is an election year. Obama becomes the director of Illinois Project Vote, an organisation focused on registering minority voters. Obama registers approximately 100,000 new voters.
-Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father, is published and receives warm reviews.
-November 7: Ann Dunham, dies of ovarian cancer.
Obama runs for the Illinois State Senate, wins the Democratic nomination for the seat, and is elected to the Illinois State Senate.
-Barack and Michelle Obama’s first daughter is born. She is named Malia Ann.
-Barack is re-elected to the Illinois State Senate.
Barack and Michelle’s second daughter is born. She is named Natasha, often called Sasha.
Obama is re-elected to the Illinois State Senate.
-Obama becomes chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee.
-On January, Obama formally enters the race for the US Senate. During the primaries, his Democratic rival, Blair Hull, takes the lead but after a short while drops when domestic abuse allegations surface.
-July 7: The Democratic National Convention — 42 year old Obama is chosen to deliver the keynote speech. This inspiring speech is viewed as a defining moment in Obama’s political career and it earns him worldwide recognition.
-November 2: Obama, 43, is elected for the US Senate. Obama receives 70% of the vote, while Republican Alan Keyes receives only 27%. Obama is the nation’s fifth African-American Senator.
-Obama takes an active role in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Obama is sworn as a US senator.
February 10: Obama announces his candidacy for President of US in the 2008 presidential election.
-June 3: After defeating Senator Hillary Clinton in the primaries, Obama becomes the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election.
-November 3: Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, age 86, dies of cancer, just one day before the Presidential Election.
-November 4: Barack Obama elected president.
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