Would you like to learn some interesting facts about Barack Obama? On this occasion, we will share 8 interesting facts about the 44th president of the United States. But before that, let’s start with his background!
Who is Barack Obama?
Born in 1961, Barack Obama is an important politician from the United States. He studied political science at Columbia University, having an international studies specialty. Nine years after that, in 1991, he graduated from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. He has been married to Michelle Robinson for almost 30 years, and together they have two daughters.
Before being president of the United States, he was a member of the Illinois Senate between 2005 and 2008. He was elected president of the United States for the first time in 2008 and then reelected in 2012. This means that he was in office in between 2009 and 2017. Barack Obama belongs to the Democratic Party.
Interesting Facts about Barack Obama
1. Barack Obama is the only president that comes from territory outside of the contiguous 48 states.
Barack Obama was born in the capital city of Hawaii, in Honolulu. He was born when his mother was nineteen, at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. This means that he is the only president of the history of the U.S. that has been both born in Hawaii and in a territory outside of the conterminous United States.
2. His family has a multicultural and diverse background.
Although Barack Obama is African-American, this is not the only characteristic of his family. His mother, called Ann Dunham, was white with English roots. His father, also called Barack Obama, was black like him, but he was from a village in Kenya. They met in the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where they were both attending classes of Russian.
His parents got divorced, and when Obama was still a little boy, her mom met an Indonesian man with whom she had a daughter, Maya. His father moved back to Kenya and also got married. Besides him, his father had seven children. Obama also has Irish cousins and Native American ancestors.
3. He lived in Indonesia.
When Obama was three years old, his mother got married to Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian geographer. Two years later, they moved to Indonesia. He lived there for four years, where he studied at a local elementary school. As the school was Indonesian-language, he was also homeschooled with the help of his mother to make sure he also spoke English. They went back to Hawaii in 1971. His mother decided to move again to Indonesia in 1975, but Obama decided to stay in Honolulu with his grandparents.
4. He used drugs when he was a teenager.
Obama was an exemplary student during his years at university. However, he confessed that he used drugs when he was young. Obama said that he often smoked marijuana and that he also consumed cocaine. In fact, he belonged to a group called “choom gang”. It was a group of friends with whom he smoked marijuana.
5. His parents died before he was elected president of the U.S. for the first time.
When his father went back to Kenya in 1964, he only visited Obama once during 1971’s Christmas. Eleven years after that, he died in a car accident.
His mother divorced his Indonesian husband and went to back to Hawaii in 1980. She died there in 1995 from cancer. Additionally, Obama’s grandmother died two days before the presidential elections of 2008.
6. He was rejected twice when proposing to a girlfriend he had.
Before knowing Michelle Robinson, Obama was dating Sheila Miyoshi Jager, an anthropologist with Asian family background. He wanted to marry her and proposed to her in two opportunities, but he was rejected by her and her parents.
7. He eliminated the entrance prohibition of people who were HIV positive.
During his first presidency, Obama decided to eliminate the ban according to which people who were HIV positive couldn’t enter the U.S. Under that law, a person infected with HIV only could enter the U.S. for medical reasons, and the access to visas was restricted.
The measures he applied also favored people who belong to the LGBT community. For example, he eliminated the regulation that didn’t allow homosexuals to join the armed forces.
8. He’s a successful writer.
Besides being an avid reader, Obama has written a few books. The most popular are his autobiographical books, which have audiobook versions narrated by himself. He also wrote a children book once, inspired by his daughters. A big part of his income comes from the sales of his books.
I hope that these facts about Barack Obama were useful to you. For other historical figures, visit historical people page.