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.
Obama has gathered congressional leaders to push through a healthcare reform bill. Democrats look for an end-run around the GOP by avoiding a House-Senate conference committee.
Since cellphones became widely used in Kenya five years ago, they've become the bank card du jour.
As Obama mulls sanctions over Iran's nuclear program, he meets Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House today. Ankara's rising economic ties with Tehran could undercut sanctions.
At the UN General Assembly, Obama said the US is ready to address global challenges such as nuclear proliferation. But the world cannot expect America to solve such problems alone, he said.
The opening of a Foreign Ministry office for religion signals a rising awareness of the political clout of the world's faiths.
The two met at the White House Tuesday. Obama sees Egypt as potentially a helpful player in moving the Middle East peace process forward.
Damascus sees the move as a concrete indication that Obama is serious about improving ties. The US hopes to use Syrian leverage against Iran and Hezbollah.
US envoy Mitchell was in Egypt Thursday, and arrives in Damascus Friday. Syrians hope for a new rapprochement under an Obama administration.
Two recordings from the Al Qaeda chief and his deputy may signal that Obama's overtures, particularly his speech in Cairo Thursday, have put the organization on the defensive.
The US and Israel agreed this week to establish a joint committee on how to implement a freeze outlined in the 2003 road map.
He's likely to stress shared responsibility for rising border violence during trip that begins Thursday.
The president fielded questions on Iraq before heading to Baghdad for an unannounced visit.
US president discussed Armenian massacre, democracy, and EU membership.
The US president's public backing of Turkey's bid to join the European Union irked France and Germany, but will help boost ties with a key Muslim ally.
The secretary of state's humility in reaching out to Mexico is part of Obama's plan to change sinking world opinion of the US.
Wednesday's National Prayer Service featured an array of faith leaders, as Democrats aim for inclusiveness and a fuller religious voice.
Ethiopia confirmed this week that it will pull troops out of the troubled nation, a move that experts worry could allow the country to fall into the hands of Islamist insurgents.
A Web-driven challenge to his legitimacy targets members of the Electoral College.
The Democrat prevailed with Roman Catholic and Jewish voters. He even picked up support among Evangelicals.
Jerome Corsi, author of "Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," tried to launch his new book, but violated immigration rules, Kenyan officials say.
He wins backing of 6 in 10 people who attend religious services once or twice a month, a gain for Democrats since 2004, new survey finds.