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Barack Obama Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at the Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. In Swahili, his name "Barack" means "one who is blessed." He was the first President to be born in the State of Hawaii.

In 1996, five years after graduating from Harvard Law School, Obama entered the public domain as a political figure. In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois Senate representing Chicago's south side neighborhoods. During his tenure in the Illinois Senate Obama sponsored and participated in and provided bipartisan support for many laws for ethics, health care, childcare, payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending.

Obama campaigned for the United States Senate starting in 2002 by raising funds and developing his

platform. He spoke against the war and quickly became well-known in the Democratic Party, gaining national exposure in July 2004 when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National convention. In November 2004 he was elected to the United States Senate with 70% of the vote. He resigned from the Illinois Senate and was sworn in as a Senator on January 3, 2005.