Barack Obama is 47 years old. He served eight years in the Illinois state senate. He was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2004.
Millions of Americans saw him for the first time that year when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He called on Americans to look beyond party politics and unite for the good of the country.
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. He knew little of his father. His parents divorced when he was two.
His mother was an anthropologist who for a time was on public assistance. His grandparents helped raise him after his mother moved to Indonesia. He spent part of his childhood in Jakarta after she married an Indonesian man.
Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York City. After college he became a community organizer in Chicago, his adopted hometown. Later, at Harvard Law School, was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
His wife, Michelle, is also a Harvard-trained lawyer. She grew up in a working class family in Chicago. The Obamas have two young daughters.
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