Barack Obama is the 44th and current President of the United States of America. He is the first African-American to hold the office. Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to an American mother and Kenyan father, who left the family. Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia after his mother remarried before returning to Hawaii and later Occidental College in California. He then graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review.
He was a community organizer in Chicago before becoming a civil rights attorney and later taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Barack Obama served three terms in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004 and had an unsuccessful campaign for the United States House of Representatives in 2000. In 2004 he raised his profile dramatically during an acclaimed speech at the Democratic National Convention. He then won his campaign for United States Senate that fall, representing the state of Illinois. He defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008 and then defeated Republican Senator John McCain in the Presidential election. He took the oath of office on January 20, 2009. Soon after taking office Barack Obama was announced as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
While President, Barack Obama signed two key pieces of legislation in response to the recession. He signed an economic stimulus package called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, followed by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. He also signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, repealed the policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell regarding gays in the military, and pulled troops out of Iraq while increasing levels in Afghanistan. Barack Obama gave the final order to proceed when Navy SEALS found and killed Osama Bin Laden.
Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare. The legislation has faced much criticism and many lawsuits and was struck down in parts by the United States Supreme Court, though much of it stands. His administration has also faced some controversy regarding an operation called Fast and Furious, in which guns were sold to Mexican gangs without being tracked and were later used in the murder of a US Border Patrol Agent.
Barack Obama is running for reelection this coming November.