Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th president of the United States. He was elected on Nov. 4, 2008, and sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, becoming the country’s first African-American president.
The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Mr. Obama defeated more experienced candidates with a message of hope and change. The one-term US senator won the Democratic nomination after prevailing in an epic primary battle with then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. He went on to defeat Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona with 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Senator McCain's 45.7 percent, and an electoral college margin of 365 to 173.
During Obama’s first year in office, the poor economy dominated much of his agenda. With Congress’s approval, he used a $789 billion stimulus package to pump money into the economy and oversaw a controversial bailout of the financial system. He has stepped up America’s military presence in Afghanistan, while tapering off military actions in Iraq. Obama also made healthcare reform a priority, but has not succeeded in moving it all the way through Congress.
Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii. He graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in political science, in 1983. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. Prior to becoming president, Obama served eight years in the Illinois state Senate and four years as a US senator from Illinois.
In 2009, Obama became the third US president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
He is married to Michelle Robinson Obama, with whom he has two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
President Obama’s use of executive action to get around congressional gridlock is unparalleled in modern times, some scholars say. But to liberal activists, he’s not going far enough.
The handshake between Presidents Obama and Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa didn't cause much of a stir in Cuba. Here's why.
As Obama argues for military intervention in Syria, President Assad says he wasn't involved in the use of chemical weapons there and the US could see consequences if they act.
Or, how much terrorism is there, really?
The US has noted Mexico's 'significant human rights-related problems' in the past, but some say it and the Mexican government haven't done enough to encourage change.
On the eve of the first US presidential debate, Mexicans weigh in on where President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney stand on immigration – and offer policy proposals of their own.
Engaging with Brazil is far more important to the hemisphere than Cuba or Venezuela, writes guest blogger James Bosworth. But US-Brazil relations have not been prioritized by Republicans.
Ahead of Father's Day, Obama said in his weekly address that children need parents' time and love, plus structure. Hmm. Do 'structure' and 'youth basketball' with 10-year-olds go together?
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) puts in hours and hours of overtime coordinating figures as it prepares the president's budget.
Obama and Hu, at a joint news conference Wednesday, stressed benefits of US-China cooperation. But Obama also urged 'level playing field' for US firms, as Hu stressed principle of 'mutual respect.'
Gabrielle Giffords tragedy – and that of 19 others killed or wounded during a mass shooting Saturday – puts special demands on President Obama and new House Speaker John Boehner.
Obama has named economist Gene Sperling as head of the National Economic Council. The president has made other moves to patch up relations with the business community.
Amid budget cutbacks and a 'diminishing appetite' for war, Europe has turned increasingly to the 'soft power' assignments like training and institution-building.
Some heads of state are zipping around Lisbon, host city of the NATO summit, in no-emission electric vehicles. Security dictates that Obama travel in the no-efficiency 'Beast,' a vehicle that fascinates the local press.
President Obama appears to be open to working with Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts. Keeping today's lower tax rates for the wealthy, temporarily, appears to be on the table.
Obama will press for countries at the G20 summit to adopt measures for addressing trade imbalances. Also, the Obama administration recently stepped up talks with South Korea on modifying the free trade agreement with the US.
President Obama has to worry both about the newly empowered Republicans and about the possibility of a primary challenger from his left. Sen. Russ Feingold is one name that has come up, although a spokesman has denied such plans currently.
The foreign policy front, including the issues of trade and arms control, could present opportunities for Obama to boost his standing with the US electorate. But pitfalls and challenges also loom.