Historica Wiki
Advertisement

Barack Hussein Obama II (born 4 August 1961) was President of the United States from 20 January 2009 to 20 January 2017, succeeding George W. Bush and preceding Donald Trump; he previously served as a member of the US Senate from Illinois (D) from 3 January 2005 to 16 November 2008, succeeding Peter Fitzgerald and preceding Roland Burris. Obama was the first African-American president, and he was known for his Obamacare health care reform, the USA's recovery from the Great Recession, the advancement of gay rights in the military and marriage, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, intervention in the Libyan Civil War, the start of the war on the Islamic State, a nuclear deal with Iran, the normalization of relations with Cuba, and the start of sanctions against Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea.

Biography

Early career

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on 4 August 1961, and he was raised in Hawaii, Washington, and Indonesia. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1983, and he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, Obama enrolled at Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation, he became a civil rights attorney and professor, and he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. From 1997 to 2004, he served in the Illinois Senate as a Democratic Party member, and he was elected to the US Senate in 2004.

Presidency

Obama's inauguration

In 2008, Obama was nominated for President a year after his campaign began, defeating Hillary Clinton after a close primary campaign. He defeated the Republican Party candidate John McCain and took office on 20 January 2009, succeeding George W. Bush. Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nine months later, and he became widely celebrated as the first African-American president. During his first two years in office, he signed his Obamacare health care bill into law, challenged "too big to fail" banks with the Dodd-Frank act, repealed a law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military, and assisted major economic institutions with their recovery from the Great Recession. In foreign policy, he increased troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the US-Russia New START treaty, ended military involvement in the Iraq War, ordered military intervention in the Libyan Civil War to oppose Muammar Gaddafi, and ordered the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

Obama was re-elected in 2012 after defeating Mitt Romney, and he convinced the US Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional as the result of Obergefell v. Hodges, advocated for gun control in response to school shootings, issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning climate change and immigration, ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to the growth of the Islamic State, continued the process of withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and initiated sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine and its interference in the 2016 presidential election. Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60% approval rating, and he retired to Washington DC.

Advertisement