Who Is Barack Obama?
Barack Obama's Early Life
By Cara J. Stevens
Image Courtesy of: Obama for America
On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States. He will be the first African American president, and one of the youngest presidents ever elected. He has a wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Malia, 10, and Natasha (who is usually called Sasha), 7.
Over the next few pages we'll go over all the important events of Barack Obama's childhood, schooling, and political career up until his election as President of the United States. For more presidential crafts, games, and activities visit our Presidents' Day main page. To celebrate Inauguration Day, visit our Inauguration Day main page for crafts and party ideas.
Early Life: From Hawaii to Indonesia and Back Again
Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father came to America from Kenya, which is a country in Africa. His parents, Ann and Barack, met when they were students at the University of Hawaii. Since Barack had the same name as his father, young Barack went by the nickname “Barry”.
After his dad finished college, he went back to Kenya, leaving his mother to take care of Barry. In 1967, when Barry was six years old, his mother married a student from Indonesia and they moved to Indonesia with him. They had many pets, including baby crocodiles and a gibbon, which is a type of monkey.
While they were in Indonesia, his mother had another baby. Her name was Maya. Right after she was born, Barry’s mother got divorced, and Barry, his mother, and his new baby sister moved back to Hawaii.
Soon, Barry’s mother had to go back to Indonesia to work. Her job was studying how farmers lived and how their lives could be made better. When she went away, Barry lived with his grandparents. He called them Gramps and Toot, and he was very close with them and his sister.
Growing up, Barry enjoyed spending time on the beach, fishing and bodysurfing. He was a really good student. He went to an expensive private school even though his family didn’t have much money to pay for it. His family felt that the best thing they could do for Barry was to give him a good education, so they worked hard to pay for his school.
Barry earned good grades and played on his high school basketball team. He loved playing basketball as a kid, and President-Elect Obama still loves to play whenever he can. Even when he was campaigning for president, he took time out every day to shoot hoops with his friends.
Cara J. Stevens is a freelance writer.