This week’s Famous Friday is about the 44th president of the United States Barack Hussein Obama II. Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obamas mother, Ann Dunham, is American born in Wichita, Kansas mostly of English descent. His father Barack Obama Sr. is Kenyan from Nyang’oma Kogelo. His parents met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A few weeks after Obama was born, he and his mother moved to Seattle Washington where she attended the University of Washington, his father went to Harvard on a scholarship to get a master’s in economics. In 1964 his parents divorced, and his father moved back to Kenya. Obama Sr. only visited Obama once for Christmas in 1971 before he was killed in a car crash in 1982.

While thinking about his childhood, Obama recalls that his father looked like no one around them. Obama Jr struggled to reconcile with his multiracial heritage. Obama’s mother eventually remarried and they moved to Indonesia. In 1995 his mother passed away from an unsuccessful treatment for Ovarian Cancer. After graduating from high school in 1979, Obama moved to Los Angeles, attending Occidental College on a full scholarship. In 1981 Obama made his first public speech, calling for Occidental to participants in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to the apartheid. In 1981 he transferred to Columbia University in New York City as a junior. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 with a GPA of 3.7.

Obama eventually joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a law firm specializing in civil rights, and economic development. In 1996 Obama was elected for the Illinois Senate. He was re-elected in 1998, lost to the Democrats in 2000, and in 2002 he was re-elected again. On January 3, 2005, Obama was sworn in as US Senator. In 2008 Obama won the presidency by 7.2 percent to McCain. Obama had 52.9% of the popular vote. That year, he became the first Multiracial American to be elected president. In 2012 he was re-elected president with 51.1% of the popular vote, he became the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win the popular vote twice in a row.


William Thomas

Project Race Vice President