Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. —PRESIDENT OBAMA
Raised on the South Side
Mrs. Obama, then Michelle Robinson, grew up in a two-story house on Euclid Avenue in Chicago’s South Shore community, and attended elementary school down the street. Her father, Fraser, was a city pump operator and a Democratic precinct captain. Her mother, Marian, was a secretary at the Spiegel catalog, who later stayed home to raise Michelle and her older brother, Craig.
As the executive director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP) in the Roseland neighborhood, Obama helped set up a job training program, a college-prep tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in the Altgeld Gardens housing projects.
Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States.
He was born on August 4th, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to a mother from Kansas, Stanley Ann Dunham, and a father from Kenya, Barack Obama Sr. He was also raised by his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to become vice president at a local bank.
He worked his way through school—Occidental College in Los Angeles, Columbia University in New York, and later, Harvard Law School—with the help of scholarship money and student loans.
In 1985, Barack Obama moved to Chicago, where he got his start in community organizing on the city’s South Side, working to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
The President called that time in his life “the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.” He has credited that experience as crucial to finding his identity—something that shaped his path to the White House.
Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996. During his time in Springfield, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, he reached across the aisle to pass the farthest-reaching lobbying reform in a generation, lock up the world’s most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by tracking federal spending online.
Barack Obama was sworn in as president on January 20th, 2009, in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when our economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. He acted immediately to get our economy back on track. Since then, the private sector has added back more than 10 million jobs during the longest, uninterrupted period of job growth in our nation’s history.
In his first term, the President cut taxes for every American worker—putting $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical family. He passed historic Wall Street reform to make sure taxpayers never again have to bail out big banks. He passed the landmark Affordable Care Act, helping to put quality and affordable health care within reach for millions of Americans. He ended the war in Iraq and is working to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan.
He was the first sitting president to stand up for marriage equality, fight for equal pay and a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. He made a college education more affordable for millions of students and their families. And he believes it’s time for a comprehensive solution to fix our broken immigration system.