Barack Obama is an American politician who was the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African American to be elected to the U.S. presidency and the first one born outside the contiguous United States.
Let’s find out some unknown facts about him!
1. Barack Hussein Obama II was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
2. He is the first President to have been born in Hawaii.
3. His mother, Ann Dunham, born in Wichita, Kansas, was of mostly English ancestry.
4. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was a married Luo man from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya.
5. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.
6. The couple married in Wailuku on Maui on February 2, 1961, and separated when, in late August 1961, Obama’s mother moved with their newborn son to attend the University of Washington in Seattle for a year.
7. During that time, Obama Sr. completed his undergraduate economics degree in Hawaii in June 1962, then left to attend graduate school at Harvard University on a scholarship.
8. There he earned an M.A. in economics.
9. Obama’s parents divorced in March 1964.
10. Obama Sr. returned to Kenya in 1964 where he was married a third time; he visited Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971.
11. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1982 when his son was 21 years old.
12. Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me – that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk – barely registered in my mind.”
13. He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.
14. In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965.
15. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet subdistrict of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng subdistrict of central Jakarta.
16. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.
17. During his time in Indonesia, Obama’s step-father taught him to be resilient and gave him “a pretty hardheaded assessment of how the world works.”
18. Obama returned to Honolulu in 1971 to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. In his youth, Obama went by the nickname Barry.
19. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii.
20. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 so his mother could begin anthropology field work.
21. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD degree in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.
22. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered – to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect – became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.”
23. Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”.
24. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.
25. After high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, Obama made his first public speech, calling for Occidental to participate in the disinvestment from South Africa in response to that nation’s policy of apartheid.
26. In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in Pakistan and India for three weeks.
27. Later in 1981, he transferred as a junior to Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and in English literature and lived off-campus on West 109th Street.
28. He graduated with a BA degree in 1983 and worked for a year at the Business International Corporation, then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
29. In 1985, Obama was among the leaders of May Day efforts to bring attention to the New York City Subway system, which was in a bad condition at the time. Obama traveled to several subway stations to get people to sign letters addressed to local officials and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and was photographed at the City College subway station holding a sign protesting against the system’s condition.
30. In a 2006 interview, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family: “It’s like a little mini-United Nations”, he said. “I’ve got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I’ve got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher.”
31. Obama has a half-sister with whom he was raised (Maya Soetoro-Ng, the daughter of his mother and her Indonesian second husband) and seven half-siblings from his Kenyan father’s family—six of them living.
32. In 1996, five years after graduating from Harvard Law School, Obama entered the public domain as a political figure. In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois Senate representing Chicago’s south side neighborhoods.
33. During his tenure in the Illinois Senate Obama sponsored and participated in and provided bipartisan support for many laws for ethics, health care, childcare, payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending.
34. Obama campaigned for the United States Senate starting in 2002 by raising funds and developing his platform.
35. He spoke against the war and quickly became well-known in the Democratic Party, gaining national exposure in July 2004 when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National convention.
36. In November 2004 he was elected to the United States Senate with 70% of the vote. He resigned from the Illinois Senate and was sworn in as a Senator on January 3, 2005.
37. Obama’s mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Madelyn Dunham, until her death on November 2, 2008, two days before his election to the Presidency.
38. Obama also has roots in Ireland; he met with his Irish cousins in Moneygall in May 2011.
39. In Dreams from My Father, Obama ties his mother’s family history to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
40. Besides his native English, Obama speaks some basic Indonesian, having learned the language during his four childhood years in Jakarta.
41. He plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school’s varsity team.
42. He is left-handed.
43. Obama is a supporter of the Chicago White Sox, and he threw out the first pitch at the 2005 ALCS when he was still a senator.
44. In 2009, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the All-Star Game while wearing a White Sox jacket.
45. He is also primarily a Chicago Bears football fan in the NFL, but in his childhood and adolescence was a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and rooted for them ahead of their victory in Super Bowl XLIII 12 days after he took office as President.
46. In 2011, Obama invited the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House; the team had not visited the White House after their Super Bowl win in 1986 due to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
47. In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin.
48. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.
49. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001.
50. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School.
51. The Obamas have two Portuguese Water Dogs, the first, a male named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.
52. In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female.
53. Applying the proceeds of a book deal, the family moved in 2005 from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to a $1.6 million house in neighboring Kenwood, Chicago. The purchase of an adjacent lot—and sale of part of it to Obama by the wife of developer, campaign donor and friend Tony Rezko—attracted media attention because of Rezko’s subsequent indictment and conviction on political corruption charges that were unrelated to Obama.
54. In December 2007, Money estimated the Obama family’s net worth at $1.3 million.
55. Their 2009 tax return showed a household income of $5.5 million—up from about $4.2 million in 2007 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.
56. On his 2010 income of $1.7 million, he gave 14% to non-profit organizations, including $131,000 to Fisher House Foundation, a charity assisting wounded veterans’ families, allowing them to reside near where the veteran is receiving medical treatments.
57. As per his 2012 financial disclosure, Obama may be worth as much as $10 million.
58.Regarding to Obama’s smoking habit, in early 2010, Michelle Obama said that he had quit smoking.
59. On his 55th birthday, August 4, 2016, Obama penned an essay in Glamour describing how his daughters and being president have made him a feminist.
60. Obama is a Protestant Christian whose religious views developed in his adult life.
61. In 1993 Obama joined a law firm in Chicago that specialized in civil rights litigation, first as an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996 and then of counsel for eight years until 2004.
62. He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics.
63. He was known as “O’Bomber” at high school for his skill at basketball.
64. His name means “one who is blessed” in Swahili.
65. His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso.
66. His speciality as a cook is chilli.
67. He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were “street urchins”.
68. He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life.
69. He does not drink coffee and he does not drink alcohol frequently.