Last Updated on January 21, 2021
Who Is Barack Obama?
Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician and attorney who served for two terms as the 44th President of the United States (2009 – 2017).
Prior to becoming president, Obama served for one term as the U.S senator from Illinois (2005 – 2008), and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.
Obama is a member of the Democratic Party and was the first African-American to become president of the United States.
|Full Name:||Barack Hussein Obama II|
|Popular Name:||Barack Obama|
|Birth Date:||August 4, 1961|
|Parents:||Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham|
|Siblings:||Maya Soetoro-Ng, Auma Obama, Malik Obama, George Obama, Bernard Obama, Mark Okoth Obama, David Ndesandjo, and Abo Obama|
|Birth Place:||Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Education:||Sekolah Dasar Katolik Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Elementary School), Sekolah Dasar Negeri Menteng 01 (State Elementary School Menteng 01), Calvert School, Punahou School, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School|
|Wife/Spouse:||Michelle Robinson Obama|
|Children:||Malia Ann Obama and Natasha “Sasha” Obama|
|Net Worth:||USD 70 million (as of December 1, 2020)|
|Source of Wealth:||Salary from Political Positions Held, Fees from Legal Services Rendered, Book Sales, Speaking Engagements, and Other Ventures|
|Height:||6′ 1″ (1.87 m)|
|Weight:||81 kg; In pounds: 180 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham. His father was a Kenyan from Nyang’oma Kogelo in present-day Siaya County, whereas his mother was from Wichita, Kansas.
Obama’s parents met in 1960 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where the elder Obama was a foreign student on a scholarship. The couple married on February 2, 1961, in Wailuku, Hawaii.
In March 1964, Obama’s parents divorced and Obama Sr. returned to Kenya, where he later landed a job as the Senior Economic Analyst in the Finance ministry. He would only visit her son once, at Christmas 1971, before dying in a tragic car accident in 1982.
On March 15, 1965, Obama’s mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student whom she had met two years earlier at the University of Hawaii. In 1966, Lolo moved to Indonesia, where he was joined by Dunham and the young Obama sixteen months later. From the age of six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools, including Sekolah Dasar Katolik Santo Fransiskus Asisi and Sekolah Dasar Negeri Menteng 01.
In 1971, Barack Obama returned to Honolulu and moved in with his maternal grandparents, Stanley Dunham and Madelyn Dunham. There, he attended Punahou School.
After graduating from high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles and attended Occidental College. In late 1981, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Upon graduating from Columbia University, Obama worked as an author and financial researcher at the Business International Corporation for about one year. In the fall of 1988, Obama joined Harvard Law School. He graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a Juris Doctor degree Magna cum laude, after which he returned to Chicago.
In 1996, Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State, taking over from Democratic State Senator Alice Palmer. He successfully defended his position in 1998, beating Republican candidate Yesse Yehudah.
In November 2004, Obama was elected to the US senate as the senator from Illinois, winning with at least 70% of the vote. He served for one term and decided to run for the President of the United States in the 2008 elections.
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency, beating Republican’s John McCain with 365 electoral votes to 173. He was re-elected to the White House on November 6, 2012 with 332 electoral votes and 51.1% of the popular vote. His main challenger was Republican’s Mitt Romney.
During his tenure as President of the United States, Obama signed numerous bills into law, including the historic Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. He also ordered and oversaw the military operations that led to the deaths of infamous terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.
Obama’s Net Worth
As of December 1, 2020, Barack Obama had a net worth of $70 million (a combined net worth with that of his wife, Michelle). Much of Obama’s wealth comes from book sales and speaking engagements, as well as his salary for the political offices he has held. And being a decorated attorney, it’s also safe to imagine that Obama takes home hefty paychecks in legal fees. Collectively, all his endeavors bring in roughly $400,000 in annual earnings.
Now, it’s important to note that the Obamas were not wealthy for the better part of their adult life. For instance, the couple’s annual earnings between 1991 and 2004 never exceeded $30,000. In fact, reports indicate that Michelle Obama was the family’s long-term breadwinner, bringing home hundreds of thousands annually from her job as a lawyer.
However, their fortunes changed when Obama was elected to the US Senate, as his salary jumped to $157, 000. And after signing a $1.65 million book deal in 2005, the Obamas officially became millionaires.
The couple continued to land lucrative book deals after Obama became president. In 2017, they signed a $60 million book deal to publish their autobiographies. Two of the most commercially-successful books by Barack Obama include Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) and Audacity of Hope (2006). Other books in print by Obama include Of Thee I Sing (2010) and A Promised Land (2020).
Barack Obama is also associated with a couple of real estate properties. In June 2017, the couple acquired a D.C home for $8 million. In 2019, they paid $15 million for another property on Martha’s Vineyard.
Lessons from Barack Obama
1. Ignore the naysayers
Obama popularized the ‘yes we can’ slogan during the 2008 US Presidential Campaigns. The slogan was primarily directed at critics and skeptics who thought that he was unelectable as US President on account of his background.
2. Always take the first initiative
One of the key themes that underline Obama’s speeches is the importance of taking the first initiative. He once said, ‘Change will not happen if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.’
3. Have a strong worth ethic
Obama was elected US president on the platform of change, and he generally delivered on most of his campaign pledges. He has his strong work ethic to thank for that.
Famous Quotes by Barack Obama
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”
“Our big problem right now is politics, can’t even get it out of football.”
“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”
Barack Hussein Obama II will go down in history as the first US President of African-American descent. He will also be remembered for his robust policies, especially on healthcare, international relations, and economic recovery. And although he’s no longer the most powerful person in the world, Obama still exerts considerable influence in shaping global political and economic agendas.