25 May Inaugural 2009
Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama, Sr., a Black Kenyan of Nyang’oma Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a White American from Wichita, Kansas.
His parents met while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
After his parent’s divorce, Barack’s mom re-married moved to Indonesia where Obama attended local schools in Jakarta until he was ten.
He then returned to Honolulu to live with his grandparents while attending school from the grade 5 until his graduation from high school in 1979.
Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization on Chicago’s far South Side. In mid-1988, he traveled to Europe and then Kenya where he met many of his Kenyan relatives for the first time.
Obama entered Harvard Law School later that year and at the end of his first year was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In his second year he was elected president of the Law Review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors.
Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles. He graduated from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.
The publicity from his election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir.
In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.