Sep 7, 2010

Early life of obama

Barack Hussein Obama was born August 4, 1961, at Kapi'olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, of mostly English, but also some German, descent.

His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama is the first President to have been born in Hawaii.Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.The couple married on February 2, 1961,but separated when Obama Sr. went to Harvard University on scholarship, and divorced in 1964.Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya, visiting Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982.
After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967, all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled, and the family moved to the Menteng neighborhood of Jakarta.From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.

In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972, remaining there until 1977 when she went back to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year, before dying of ovarian cancer.
Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind."

He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind."At the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency, Obama identified his high-school drug use as his "greatest moral failure."
 Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to attend Occidental College. In February 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental's divestment from South Africa. 
 In mid-1981, Obama traveled to Indonesia to visit his mother and sister Maya, and visited the families of college friends in India and Pakistan for three weeks.
Later in 1981 he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations and graduated with a B.A. in 1983. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation,then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.

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