Early life and Education
Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a Luo from Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a white American from Wichita, Kansas. His parents met while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his father was a foreign student. They separated when he was two years old and later divorced. Obama's father attended Harward Universtiy for his Doctor’s Degree and returned to Kenya and saw his son only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982.
Young Obama and his family
After her divorce, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, and the family moved to Soetoro's home country of Indonesia in 1967, where Obama attended local schools in Jakarta until he was ten years old. He then returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending Punahou School from the fifth grade in 1971 until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972 for several years and then back to Indonesia to complete fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation. She died of ovarian cancer in 1995.
Young Obama and his mother
As an adult Obama admitted that during high school he used marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol, which he described at the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency as his greatest moral failure.
Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.
Obama graduated with a B.A. from Columbia in 1983, then at the start of the following year worked for a year at the Business International Corporation and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.
After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago, where he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP) and worked there for three years from June 1985 to May 1988.
Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. At the end of his first year, he was selected, based on his grades and a writing competition, as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. In February 1990, in his second year, he was elected president of the Law Review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the Law Review's staff of eighty editors.
After graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.
He served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation.
Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. He resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the US Senate.
On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. Throughout the campaign, Obama has emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care. And he promised “change” in the campaign course.
Barack Obama swept to victory as the nation's first black president Tuesday night in an electoral college landslide that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself. "Change has come," he declared to a huge throng of cheering supporters.
The Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and more.
1991年，奥巴马在哈佛大学获得了“极优等”（拉丁文的学位荣誉，magna cum laude）法学士的学位，并回到芝加哥。1994年至2002年，奥巴马分别在芝加哥森林基金会和乔伊斯基金会的董事会任职过一段时间。
Barack Obama, US new president-elect makes appearace in Chicago before delivering his victory speech with his wife, Michelle and two daughters, November 4, 2008