Barack Obama- A Modern Day Superhero

Civil Rights
Presidential Race


Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. His father was Barack Hussein Obama Senior from Kenya, Africa and his mother was Ann Dunham from Kansas, America. At the age of two his parents divorced and his mother married Lolo Soetoro. Obama lived in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents and mother until he moved to Indonesia, his stepfather's homeland.

            For four years, from the ages 6 to 10 he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia in his stepfather's house. He attended the local schools there, which taught him both about the Christian faith and Islamic faith. In less than 6 months, he became fluent in the local language, Bahasa. He befriended neighborhood kids and acted like any other kid. His mother also taught him English, so as to not lose his native tongue.

            There he saw how tough life could be first hand. He saw men carry loads of timber on their backs as work and in return got less than a penny, he saw women try their hardest to keep their families alive, and he saw beggars on every street, with no place to call home. He lived in this harsh area as his stepfather taught him to not waste his money on beggars and showed him death right before his eyes by killing a chicken. His stepfather involved himself with fancy dinner parties and separated himself from the hellish world they lived in, without any emotion for the weak. He threw away his emotions and became cold. It was because of this that his mother divorced Lolo and moved him back to Honolulu.

            He lived in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents. It was here that his nickname "Barry" became used frequently. He attended Punahou School, a private school, and it was there that he began to grow and mature. On his first day, he was made fun of for his background as a Kenyan and his name. He was also made fun of for playing with a girl of his age and color of skin. He was introduced to the idea of racism.

            He also had an experience with his father returning to him when he was 10. His father came back from Kenya and visited him. Obama had never met his father officially and only knew of him through stories and photos. During his stay, he brought an uneasy atmosphere around Obama. Obama viewed him as a harsh man because he kept telling him to study instead of fooling around and they had an uneasy relationship. However, one day, his father attended his class as a guest speaker. He talked about the life in Kenya and how proud they were. He talked with such grandeur that Obama's classmates were so astounded and viewed him as "cool". Their relationship began to mend.


Short Bio

            Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. His father was Barack Hussein Obama Senior from Kenya and his mother was Ann Dunham from Kansas. When he was two, his parents divorced, and his mother married Lolo Soetoro. At the age of 6, Obama moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, his step-father's homeland, and in 1970, at the age of 9, his sister Maya was born.

            He lived in Indonesia for 4 years. He became fluent in the native tongue, Bahasa, and he went to school there, where they taught lessons on the Christian and Islamic faith. He was also tutored by his mother in English, so as not to lose his native language. Along with this, he also experienced and saw the harshness of how life can be, how people changed, and how they gave up their dreams and dignity. It was precisely because of this reason that his mother divorced Lolo and moved him back to Hawaii.

            He lived with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii as he attended Punahou School, a private school on the island, from the fifth grade until he graduated. Like any other teenager, he experienced the ups and downs of high school life and puberty. He experienced smoking, drugs, and because of the color of his skin, he came to know the word: racism. He experienced the idea of racism and the separateness of blacks and whites in his high school years and as a child of both sides he had a perspective in both directions.

            After graduating, he entered Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he stayed for only two years. However it was there where he got his first taste of leadership. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1983 and tried to make amends.

            Wanting to help make a change in the roots of all black people, Barack Obama tried his best to make change as a community organizer. He took a job as a research assistant to support himself. However, in time he was promoted to financial writer, earned good money, had his own office, and even had a secretary. Everything seemed to be going well, and the idea of being a community organizer faded away, but then he received a phone call. The phone call was from his half-sister who was supposed to visit him soon but had to cancel her trip because her friend just died recently. She cried and asked him, "Why do these things happen to us?" He resigned his job, and with renewed determination, he sought for change.

            He began helping people around the neighborhood and working with churches to make jobs and support families. However, wanting to make even more change, he decided to apply to Harvard Law School, the school his father went to. He entered in 1988 and did so well that he graduated in 1991 with a J.D. degree magna cum laude. He then returned to Chicago where he acted as an associate attorney and helped with many voting cases and discriminating cases. He made it so that it was easier for people to vote and he helped improve the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.

            However, he desired for even more change, and he decided to run for Illinois senator. He was elected in 1996 and he quickly began changing things. He helped families by making tax programs to help them; he supported early education, and he worked on numerous problems with his skills as a lawyer. Then following the path for change, he decided to run for the U.S. senate.

            After a couple of hard races, he became senator on January 4, 2005. He once again began to change things. He worked on immigration reform, border controls, environmental issues, energy efficiency, health programs, and he also traveled to many countries to talk to other leaders about weapons, terrorism, and other matters that plagued the world. He worked hard and achieved a lot, but he still wanted more change. But there was only one option left: presidency.

            On February 10, 2007 Barack Obama officially announced his candidacy for president. He started traveling around the country and spreading his ideals to the people of America. Some people listened and some people didn't, but he still kept on trying. If he were to win he'll become the first black president in American history.


            Obama's maternal grandparents are Stanley Armour Dunham and Madelyn Lee Payn. His grandfather Stanley was born on March 23, 1918 and his grandmother Madelyn was born in 1922. Both were born in Kansas; Stanley was raised in El Dorado and Madelyn was raised in Augusta, a distance of less than 20 miles.

            Obama's grandmother Madelyn was brought up in a respectable family of Methodists. She was a very smart girl and had class. However, she had a wild side to her and loved to go to Wichita, Kansas to listens to the bands play.

            Obama's grandfather on the other hand, he was brought up by his own grandparents in a not so good environment. His grandparents were Baptists and at the tender age of 8 he found his mother's dead body. From there, everything went wrong. Stanley became rebellious and wild. At 15 he was kicked out of high school for punching the principal and he spent the next few years hopping rail cars and doing odd jobs. Then came the fateful day where Stanley and Madelyn met in Wichita. They fell in love.

            Obviously, Madelyn's parents didn't approve of the relationship. However, Madelyn didn't care and married Stanley anyways. Together they traveled many times, first to California where Stanley enrolled in Berkeley, back to Kansas, Washington, then to Texas, next to Seattle, and then they finally moved to Honolulu. While traveling they had their daughter Ann Dunham, Obama's mother. Stanley supported his family as a furniture salesman and in the future supported his family as an insurance salesman. Madelyn supported the family by taking a bank job and in time rose to become the vice-president. This caused a lot of tension between the two, because Madelyn's job paid more than Stanley's. However, both did their part in raising Obama when he was sent to live with them from Indonesia. It was from them that Obama learned about his father. Madelyn was also referred to as Toot-the Hawaiian word for grandmother.

            A great trait about these two is their hatred towards racism, which was a really uncommon trait back then. Their feelings of equality in all living beings were usually denied in their time period. However, they held true to their beliefs and stood up for what they believed in. They showed this when they let their daughter marry an African-American, something that was considered atrocious.

            Stanley died on February 8, 1992 at the age of 74. Madelyn still lives today in Honolulu.          


            Obama's mother is Stanley Ann Dunham. She was born in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on November 29, 1942. She's commonly called Ann, even though her given name is Stanley (her father wanted a boy). This caused a bit of grief as a child. Due to her parents always moving around, she went to school in many places. She attended high school at Mercer Island, Washington and she did very well in her studies.

            She then entered the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she majored in anthropology. There she met Barack Obama Hussein Senior, a student from Kenya. They fell in love and even though her parents were hesitant at first, they were won over by his charm and allowed the marriage.

            They had Barack Obama Jr. in 1961 and in four years they divorced because Obama Senior had to go to Harvard and then return to Kenya. In 1967, she married again, this time to Lolo Soetoro, another student at the University of Hawaii. They moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, Lolo's homeland. There they saw how difficult life can become. She taught English at a school and she also taught Barack. On August 15, 1970, she had a daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. In the late 1970s, because Lolo became colder and heartless, they divorced, and she moved them back to Honolulu. In 1977, she then returned to Indonesia with Maya, leaving Barack with her parents.

            In 1992 she earned her Anthropology degree from the University of Hawaii, and traveled around promoting Indonesian human and women's rights. She worked with banks, leaders, and many organizations.

            In 1994, she was found to have ovarian and uterine cancer. She moved back to Hawaii to live with her mother, and in 1995, she died.


            Obama's father is Barack Hussein Obama Senior. He was born in 1936 in Bondo District, Kenya. His father was Hussein Onyango Obama and his mother was Akuma Obama. He was part of the Luo tribe. Obama Sr. was raised in Nyangoma-Kogelo by his step-mother Sarah.

            When he was eighteen, he married a girl named Kezia at a tribal marriage. They had two kids. However, at the age of 23 he left Kenya when he accepted a scholarship for talented Kenyans to be educated in the West. He entered the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a scholarship for economics, and that is where he met Ann Dunham. They fell in love and married on February 2, 1961. Then they had Barack Jr. on August 4, 1961.

            Two years later, Obama once again left, this time to study at Harvard in Massachusetts. He and Ann divorced in 1963, due to the fact that she found out that he already had a wife in Kenya and that she received cruel messages from his father telling her to stay away from him.

            At Harvard he met a teacher named Ruth Nidesand, and they developed a relationship. In 1965, when he received his AM degree from Harvard they both went to Kenya and got married. They had two kids before their divorce and he also had two kids again with Kezia. He kept in touch with Barack through letters after his visit to the states when he was 10.

            In Kenya, he was employed as an economist for the Ministry of Transportation. However, in 1965 he wrote a very controversial paper against the president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. Because of this, his career was destroyed and he spent the rest of his time drinking and in misery before he got into a car crash that caused him to lose both his legs. Then, in 1982, at the age of 46 he died in another car crash.

            Even though he left his family behind, Barack Jr. viewed him as a kind and strong man. He visited Barack in the states when he was 10 and made him proud to be a Kenyan when he gave a lecture on Kenyans at Barack Jr.'s school. He also heard stories about his father from his grandparents. From these stories, he heard how his father stood up to a man who made fun of his skin not by using his fists, but words. He was able to make the man become sorry and shameful.

Current Family

            Barack's half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, the only sibling he knew from a young age, was born from Lolo Soetoro and Ann Dunham. She also attended Punahou School and received a Ph.D. in education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She married Konrad Ng, a professor at the University, and they had one daughter, Suhaila. She currently teaches at La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls in Honolulu.  

            Obama's wife is Michelle Robinson. Her parents were Frasier and Marian Robinson and she had an older brother named Craig. They lived in Chicago and she attended Whitney Young High School. She graduated in 1981 and went to Princeton to study sociology and African-American studies. She then went to Harvard Law School where she got her J.D. She met Barack Obama at the Sidley Austin law firm. They started a relationship and in October of 1992, they got married. They bore two children, Malia Ann, and Natasha. She served in various postions in the Chicago city government and she also worked at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She no travels with Barack and supports his campaign.