Barack Obama

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." - Barack Obama


Paper Illustration by Lorraine Nam

Paper Illustration by Lorraine Nam

Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States and the first African American to serve in the office. He was elected in 2008 and won a second term in 2012 with a message of hope for the American people. 

Born in Honolulu in 1961, Obama was raised mostly by his mother and his midwestern grandparents. His parents were divorced and he had little contact with his father who had moved back to Kenya, Africa. 

Growing up, Obama was a great student and graduated with academic honors. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in political science. After school, he moved to Chicago where he worked as a community organizer for low-income residents when he decided to pursue a law degree. He entered Harvard Law School in 1988 and worked for a Chicago law firm where he met Michelle Robinson who would become his wife. After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and taught constitutional law part time as a lecturer and as a professor. He and Michelle married and welcomed two daughters: Malia and Sasha. 

In 1996, Obama decided to run for the Illinois State Senate as a Democrat and won. He served on the state senate and eventually was elected to the U.S. Senate. After 3 years, he ran for the presidency and won with the message of hope. His running mate, Senator Joe Biden became vice president.

When Obama took office, he inherited a global economic recession, two ongoing foreign wars and the lowest international favorability rating for the U.S. (at the time). By the end of his presidency, Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law making affordable healthcare available for all Americans, repealed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy, approved U.S. participation in NATO airstrikes to support rebels fighting the Libyan dictator, and gave the green light to an operation killing Osama bin Laden. 

In his second term, Obama reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba, reversed America's recession, reestablished relations with Iran, made marriage equality a reality throughout the country, signed the Clean Power Plan, and signed the Paris Agreement. 



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Sylvia Woods

Sylvia Woods

Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height