Obama is the son of a Kenyan immigrant and a white woman from Kansas. His first name means ‘blessed by god’ in Swahili, and he has a middle name, Hussein, which he no longer uses.
Born in 1961, Obama spent his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, and has an Indonesian half-sister. Family get-togethers at Christmas, he has remarked, look like “a UN General Assembly meeting”.
After graduating from Harvard Law School, Obama taught constitutional law and worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 2004, he became only the third African-American to be elected to the US Senate in the last hundred years.
Obama met Michelle Robinson in 1988, when he joined the Chicago law firm, Sidley and Austin, as an intern. Michelle, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was already a lawyer. In 1992, they got married and now have two daughters— Malia, 8, and Natasha, 5. Michelle Obama is the vice-president for community relations at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
In 2005, the British journal, New Statesman, named him one of “10 people who could change the world” and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Obama has said that his favourite film is ‘Viva Zapata’. An adaptation of John Steinbeck’s book, it’s the story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.