Barack Hussein Obama II (pronounced /bəˈrɑːk hʊˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the President-elect of the United States, with a term starting onJanuary 20, 2009. He is the first African American to be elected President of the United States. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois (as wellas the only African American in the Senate) from 2005 until he resigned on November 16, 2008, following his election to the Presidency.
He is a graduate ofColumbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civilrights attorney before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January2003, won a primary victory in March 2004, and was elected to the Senate in November 2004. Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic NationalConvention in July 2004.
As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promotegreater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress,he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel.
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