Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Barack Obama served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the United States. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. In 1988, he went to Harvard Law School, where he attracted national attention as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. In 1992, Obama married Michelle Robinson, a lawyer who had also excelled at Harvard Law.
Turning to elective politics, Obama represented the 13th district from 1997 until 2004 in the Illinois Senate, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. Obama received national attention in 2004 with his March Senate primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his presidential campaign began, and after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, Obama was elected over Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated alongside Joe Biden on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. Obama left office in January 2017 and continues to reside in Washington, D.C.
During Obama’s term in office, the United States’ reputation abroad, as well as the American economy, significantly improved. His presidency has generally been regarded favorably, and evaluations of his presidency among historians, political scientists, and the general public frequently place him among the upper tier of American presidents.