44. Barack Obama

The Periodic Table of the Presidents - Barack Obama  Barack Obama Official Photograph - The Periodic Table of the Presidents


Presidential Basics

  • Full name: Barack Hussein Obama II
  • Years in office: 2009–2017
  • Political party: Democratic
  • Vice president: Joseph Biden
  • Age at inauguration: 47
  • Nicknames: “Barry,” “No Drama Obama”

Random Trivia

  • A Swahili name: Barack means, “one who is blessed,” in Swahili.

Birth & Death

  • Birthday: August 4, 1961
  • Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Death: Still living


  • Father: Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (1936–1982); Kenyan governmental economist
  • Mother: Stanley Ann Dunham (1942–1995)
  • Wife: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson (1964 –)
  • Marriage: October 3, 1992 in Illinois
  • Kids:  Two
    • Malia Ann (1998–)
    • Natasha (Sasha) (2001–)
  • Home: Chicago, Illinois

Other Facts

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Eye color: Brown
  • Ancestry: Kenyan, English, Irish, African-American
  • Religion: Congregationalist
  • Born in a log cabin: No
  • Owned enslaved people: No
  • Freemason: No


  • College degree: Yes
  • College: Occidental College (1979–1981); Columbia (graduated with B.A. 1983); Harvard Law School (graduated with J.D. 1991)


  • Military Service: No
  • Lawyer: Yes
  • Community Organizer, Chicago (1985–1988)
  • Civil Rights Attorney, Chicago
  • University of Chicago Law School Faculty (1992–2004)
  • Writer
  • Member of the Illinois Senate (1997–2004)
  • Member of the U.S. Senate (2005–2008)
  • President (2009–)


  • Dreams from My Father
  • The Audacity of Hope
  • Change We Can Believe In


In the election of 2008, Illinois senator Barack Obama faced off against Arizona senator John McCain. Obama campaigned on change, using a grassroots approach to encourage first time voters. McCain displayed himself as a senator willing to push the envelope in Washington.  And, he selected a woman, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, as his running mate.  The economy was the hot button issue of the day with mortgage-backed securities causing a major downturn in the financial sector. Obama won with 68% of the electoral votes, becoming our first African-American president.

In 2012, the incumbent, Barack Obama, faced the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney.  Obama entered election season with a low approval rating of just 40%.  Compounding the low approval rating was a high unemployment rate around 8%.  As such, it would not be an easy campaign start for the president. By the end of the campaign, however, unemployment had lowered, and the president gained favor for his response to a terrible natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy.  Obama would use these successes to win the election, obtaining 62% of the electoral votes.

Campaign Poster

44 Bo, Hope, color screen print, by Shepard Fairey, 2008
Hope, color screenprint by Shepard Fairey, 2008 (Library of Congress)

Have you read this yet?

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