User:Wiki User 68/My Portal/Selected biography/3
Barack Hussein Obama II (pronounced /bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/ (deprecated template); born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until November 2008, when he resigned following his election to the presidency.
Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree, and practiced as a civil rights attorney in Chicago before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama ran for United States Senate in 2004. Obama's unexpected landslide victory in the March 2004 U.S. Senate primary made him a rising star in the national Democratic Party, with his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 further raising his visibility. He was elected by a landslide margin to the U.S. Senate in November 2004.
After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination, becoming the first major African American candidate for President. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican candidate John McCain and was inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009.