Barack Hussein Obama, born August 4, 1961, is the junior United States senator from Illinois and a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election.
He is the fifth African-American senator in U.S. history, and the only African-American currently serving in the U.S. Senate.
Born in Honolulu to a Kenyan father and an American mother, Obama grew up in culturally diverse surroundings. He lived most of his early life in the Pacific island U.S. state of Hawaii and spent four of his pre-teen years in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta.
A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003.
Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still an Illinois state legislator. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 with a landslide 70 percent of the vote in an election year marked by Republican gains.
As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama co-sponsored the enactment of conventional weapons control and transparency legislation, and made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the 110th Congress, he has sponsored legislation on lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel.
Since announcing his presidential campaign in February 2007, Obama has emphasized ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care as major priorities.
He married in 1992 and has two daughters. He has written two bestselling books: a memoir of his youth titled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a personal commentary on U.S. politics.
His major issues include:
Ending the Iraq War
Expand community service opportunities
Healthcare for everyone
Helping families save
Helping rural communities
Increased investments in economy
Seniors and social security
Strengthening civil rights
Strengthening foreign policy
Support for veterans
Technology for everyone
For more information on these issues, visit http://www.barackobama.com/issues/