Barack Obama formally launches his candidacy

the last time was for the exploratory committee

today is the big launch

announcement in Springfield, Illinois
- the better to remember Abraham Lincoln

Barack Hussein Obama (age: 45)
birthday: August 4, 1961
birthplace: Honolulu

both his parents were students at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii

moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, with mother and stepfather

sister Maya

was raised in Kansas

attended Occidental College in Los Angeles before completing his undergraduate degree at Columbia University in New York (political science, with a focus on international relations)

received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School

joined the Chicago law firm Miner, Barnhill & Galland (specializing in civil rights legislation)

lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago

elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996

keynote speech in support of John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic national convention in Boston

U.S. Senate in 2004, beating Republican candidate Alan Keyes

opposed the Iraq war from the start

voted against the nomination to the Supreme Court of John Roberts


wife: Michelle Robinson, married in 1992

two daughters: Malia (b. 1999) and Sasha (b. 2001)


In Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995), Obama writes about smoking marijuana and trying cocaine when he was a teenager.

The audio book edition of Dreams of my Father earned Obama a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006) continues to be on top of bestsellers lists.

He also wrote the foreword to K. Kofi Moyo's Real Men Cook: 100 Easy Recipes Celebrating Tradition and Family.


More Barack Obama Trivia
  • he's an occasional smoker (hence the voice)
  • his middle name Hussein is the same as his father's
  • he attended the same high school as America Online founder Steve Case (three years older)
  • while at Harvard, his application to be in a black-pride calendar was rejected