Barak Obama

Barak Obama Amazing Facts

35 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Barak Obama | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Barack Hussein Obama is named after his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (1936-1982). “Barack” means “blessing/blessed/to bless” in Swahili and “Hussein” is a word meaning “good” or “beautiful.” Swahili was Obama Sr.’s native language.
  2. Obama is distantly related to Vice President Dick Cheney. He is also eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution; one of his maternal great great great grandfathers was a decorated Union soldier.
  3. Obama won the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination by defeating Hilary Clinton, the former first lady and New York senator, and then took the presidency by beating Republican Senator John McCain. His energetic campaign was built on a theme of “hope and change” fueled by powerful oratory.
  4. He became the 44 th president of United States in 2009 and the first African American to do so. A mood of national optimism prevailed at Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, which drew an estimated 1.8 million people to the National Mall in Washington despite bitter cold. He began his presidency with a 68 percent approval rating.
  5. He was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2008. He was then awarded the Nobel Peace Prize although some critics said it was too soon since he had only been recently elected as president.
  6. He was reelected in November 2012 after defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney and sworn in for his second final term on January 20, 2013.
  7. Obama is left-handed. He can speak Spanish. He doesn’t drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol.
  8. Obama simultaneously oversaw wars in Iraq, which he ended in 2011, and Afghanistan, as well as the US military involvement in Libya that helped oust Muammar Gaddafi. In May 2011, he authorized the raid in which US Navy seals killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
  9. The centerpiece of his domestic agenda was the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform law better known as Obamacare which gave all Americans affordable insurance and more protections, but critics say it is expensive federal interference. Obama struggled to revive the economy and create jobs.
  10. Obama’s grandfather, Hussin Onyango Obama (c. 1895-1979) was recruited to work for Kenya’s colonial power, Great Britain, during WWI. The British imprisoned and tortured him for taking part in the Kenyan revolution after WWII. He converted from Christianity to Islam.
  11. Obama has many, many relatives, as Obama’s father, paternal grandfather, and paternal great grandfather each had several wives and many children. His grandfather was known in the family as “The Terror” and his father was called “Old Man.”
  12. Barack Obama’s father was born into Kenya’s Luo tribe near Lake Victoria. He initially identified himself as a Muslim, but spent much of his adult life as an atheist. He was accepted to the University of Hawaii with full tuition at the age of 23, he left his pregnant first wife (Kezia) and son in the care of his father’s third wife Sarah Hussein Onyango in Kenya. He was the first person in the Obama family to leave Africa to live in another country.
  13. Obama’s mother, Ann Durnham (1942-1995) came from an old American family. The entire family moved to Hawaii in 1959 the same year Barack Obama Sr. arrived.Obama’s father and mother met in a Russian class at the University of Hawaii when she was 18 years old.
  14. In 1961, Ann and Barack Obama Sr. wed in a small civil ceremony. Ann was already three months pregnant with Barack at the time of the wedding and was under the impression Obama Sr. was divorced from his first wife. In 1961, interracial marriage was still illegal in some states, but not in Hawaii.
  15. Barack Obama Sr.’s father was outright opposed to his son’s marriage to Ann Durnham because he thought his son was neglecting his wife and two children in Kenya.
  16. Obama (who was often called “Barry” or “Bar”) was born on August 4, 1961, at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  17. When Obama was only two years old, his father left his family to pursue his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1963. Barack would see him only one more time before his death in 1985.
  18. In 1964, Obama’s mother filed for divorce from Barack Obama Sr. while he was pursuing his graduate degree at Harvard. In 1965, Obama Sr. completed his master’s degree and returned to Kenya with another woman, Ruth Nidesand, a Caucasian American-born teacher.
  19. In 1967, Barack Obama’s mother married her second husband, Lolo (“Crazy”) Soetoro from Indonesia. Lolo practiced a form of Islam that incorporated ideas from other belief systems.
  20. While living in Indonesia with his mother and Lolo for four years , Obama played in rice paddies, rode water buffalo, and ate chili peppers, dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper. Baby alligators, chickens, and ducks lived in the yard. For the first time, he also encountered people who had leprosy and lived in extreme poverty.
  21. In 1970, Obama’s mother and Lolo had a daughter, Barack’s half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. In 1971, Ann sent Barack back to Hawaii after realizing she did not want him to grow up in Indonesia. She later divorced Lolo.
  22. Obama lived with maternal grand parents and received a scholarship to Punahou, a prestigious prep school in Hawaii. He graduated in 1979 with honors.
  23. Obama’s mother Ann died in 1995 of ovarian and uterine cancer.
  24. Barack Obama Sr. was involved in a car accident in 1982 at age 46 which led to both his legs being amputated.
  25. When Obama was 21, he received a call from Nairobi that his father was involved in yet another car accident and had died. He left behind three ex-wives, a mistress, six sons, and a daughter. He is buried where he grew up in Kenya’s Siaya District.
  26. Obama worked at Baskin-Robbins as a teenager and now dislikes ice cream. He also has worked in construction.
  27. As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine.
  28. While at Punahou Academy, Barack befriended Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987), a journalist, poet, and supposed communist whom he looked to as a role model.
  29. In 1995, Obama published his autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. He won a Grammy award for the audio version of the book. His second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts of Reclaiming the American Dream, was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and became a best seller.
  30. Following 9/11, Obama was an early opponent of President George W. Bush’s plan to go to war with Iraq.
  31. Obama is a Christian and a former member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He has never been a Muslim.
  32. Barack met his wife Michelle Robinson, a South Side Chicago native, while he was interning at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. She was his mentor and was not initially attracted to him but after a two year courtship, they were married in the fall of 1992 at the Trinity United Church of Christ.
  33. Obama’s race against Alan Keyes in 2004 marked the first time in U.S. history that two African-Americans ran as major party nominees for a Senate seat. Obama beat Keyes by the widest margin for a Senate race in Illinois history.
  34. Obama reads Harry Potter to his oldest daughter Malia every night when he is home. He has read every Harry Potter book.
  35. Obama once said the three men he admired the most were Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team


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