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  • Barack Obama
    Obama standing with his arms folded and smiling
    44th President of the United States
    In office
    January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
    Vice President Joe Biden
    Preceded by George W. Bush
    Succeeded by Donald Trump
    United States Senator
    from Illinois
    In office
    January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
    Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
    Succeeded by Roland Burris
    Member of the Illinois Senate
    from the 13th district
    In office
    January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
    Preceded by Alice Palmer
    Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
    Personal details
    Born Barack Hussein Obama II
    (1961-08-04) August 4, 1961 (age 57)
    Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
    Political party Democratic
    Spouse(s)
    Michelle Obama (m. 1992)
    Children
    Parents
    Relatives Obama family
    Education Occidental College
    Columbia University (BA)
    Harvard Law School (JD)
    Awards Nobel Peace Prize (2009)
    Profile in Courage Award (2017)
    Signature
    Website

    Barack Hussein Obama II (/bəˈrɑːk hˈsn ˈbɑːmə/ (About this sound listen);[1] born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to serve as president. He was previously a United States Senator from Illinois and a member of the Illinois State Senate.

    Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, two years after the territory was admitted to the Union as the 50th state. Raised largely in Hawaii, he also spent one year of his childhood in Washington state and four years in Indonesia. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and a professor, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began and after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, accepting the award with the caveat that he felt there were others "far more deserving of this honor than I."

    During his first two years in office, Obama signed many landmark bills into law. The main reforms were the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as "Obamacare", shortened as the "Affordable Care Act"), the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession. After a lengthy debate over the national debt limit, he signed the Budget Control and the American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United States–Russia New START treaty, and ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi; Gaddafi was killed by NATO-assisted forces, and he also ordered the military operation that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

    After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges); same-sex marriage was fully legalized in 2015 after the Court ruled that a same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional in Obergefell. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, and issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning climate change and immigration. In foreign policy, he ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, initiated sanctions against Russia following the invasion in Ukraine and again after Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, and normalized U.S. relations with Cuba. Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60% approval rating and currently resides in Washington, D.C. Since then, his presidency has been favorably ranked by historians and the general public.[2][3] He also had a high global approval rating, and the United States' reputation saw a dramatic upward shift during his presidency.[4]

    1. ^ "Barack Hussein Obama Takes The Oath Of Office" on YouTube. January 20, 2009.
    2. ^ Jones, Jeffrey M. (February 15, 2018). "Obama's First Retrospective Job Approval Rating Is 63%". Gallup.com. Retrieved April 5, 2018. 
    3. ^ Cite error: The named reference How Does Trump Stack Up Against the Best — and Worst — Presidents? was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    4. ^ Wan, William; Scott Clement (November 18, 2016). "Most of the world doesn't actually see America the way Trump said it did". The Washington Post.