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From Hawaii To The White House: 25 Facts About Barack Obama

author-img By sagnika sinha 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II has served two terms in office as the 44th President of the United States. He made history as the first African American to ever hold the office. During his tenure, Obama remained one of the most influential leaders with both success and failure to his name.

Here, we will explore the man’s life with 25 facts about Barack Obama. From his humble beginnings in Hawaii to his groundbreaking entry into the White House, Obama is a story to tell.

25 Facts About Barack Obama

25 Facts About Barack Obama

When they ask who was the first black president, irrespective of the country, Obama comes to mind. The President of the United States holds an extremely strong position in global power politics. Obama’s presence in the geo-political scenario has been of such great import that he became a household not only as an American President but a visionary as well.

He was even honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his extraordinary efforts to de-escalate global political tensions. Whether you ask for 10 interesting facts about barack obama or a 100 you will be surprised by the man in too many ways to count. Here, we highlight 25 insider facts about Obama that we bet you did not know.

  1. Obama was born on the 4th of August 1961. His name means ‘one who is blessed’ in Swahili. His birthplace is Honolulu, Hawaii.
  1. He spent his first few years in Hawaii before shifting to Jakarta to live with his half-sister, his mother, and his stepfather. Young Barack Obama lived in Jakarta for several years before he returned to Hawaii in 1971. Thereafter, he remained in Hawaii until he graduated from Punahou School, which is an elite college preparatory academy in Honolulu.
  1. Obama’s father is Kenyan, and his mother is American. Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham met at the Honolulu University, where they attended a Russian language class together. His parents, however, divorced when he was just 2 years old, and his father returned to Kenya. Obama saw his father next time again in 1971 when he came to Hawaii. His father met a tragic car accident in 1982.
  1. During his presidency, many claimed that Obama was not a born American, which, according to the U.S. Constitution, could prevent him from serving as president. He had to then release his birth certificate to reaffirm his birth, which took place in Hawaii.
  1. Obama’s grandmother called him nicknames like ‘Bear’ and ‘Bar.’ Many used to call him ‘Barry’ until he reached university, when he specifically asked people to call him ‘Barack.’ When he visited Kenya in 2006, thousands of people lined the streets, waiting in long queues to welcome him.
  1. Obama does not have any siblings, but he has many half-siblings. From Obama Sr’s first marriage to Grace Kezia, he has 4 half-siblings named Malik Abongo or ‘Roy,’ Auma, Abo, and Bernard. The third marriage with Ruth Nidesand adds 2 more to the list– Mark and David. Obama’s mother’s second marriage got him one stepsister named Maya.
  1. Obama met Michelle in 1989. It was in summer, and Barack was an associate at Sidley Austin’s Chicago law firm. Michelle, who was a Chicago native, was also a lawyer at the firm.
  1. Obama would have been an architect if he did not get into politics.
  1. Obama’s reelection inauguration was Constitutionally supposed to be carried out in a private ceremony inside the White House because it was a Sunday. But they held a public ceremony nevertheless,
  1. He is the second president in history that took the oath quadruple times. Obama had to retake his oath the following day of inauguration in 2009 for making a working mistake. He was the second president after Franklin Roosevelt, who retook the oath.
  1. He went by the codename ‘Renegade’ for the Secret Service Agents that guarded him. He chose the name out of the 4 options he was given. Each of his family members also has a code name– Michelle is ‘Renassaince,’ Malia is ‘Radiance,’ and Sasha is ‘Rosebud.’
  1. While in office, Obama did a lot of first visits to other states. In 2016, he was the first to visit Laos, Myanmar, and Japan. He also went ahead with the first presidential visit to Cuba after 88 years. Barack undertook the trip to the Arctic Circle in 2015. He wanted to experience the effects of climate change firsthand in Kotzebue, Alaska. He was also the first ever serving president to visit the federal prison. He visited the Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno in Oklahoma.
  1. He helped 12-18 million Americans acquire health insurance. In March 2010, he signed the law of Affordable Care Act, which became his signature legislation. Before this law, people could not acquire health coverage.
  1. He is fluent in Spanish and considers Pablo Picasso, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Coltrane as his real-life heroes. He is a published author of 4 books– Dreams From My Father (1995), The Audacity of Hope (2006), “Our Enduring Spirit: President Barack Obama’s First Words to America” (2009), and Of Thee, I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters (2010). He received 2 Grammy awards in the category Spoken Word Album of the Year.
  1. Obama was a president vlogger. He was the first president who owned a YouTube channel where he uploaded weekly addresses. The channel has 988K subscribers.
  1. Obama had the highest incoming president approval rating at 69%.
  1. Obama went hard with his vacation after his last day in office on January 20, 2017. In the first week, he was a guest to the Spanish ambassador in Palm Springs, California. Next, he went to Moskito Island with his wife Michelle and billionaire buddy Richard Branson. He was also sighted on Necker Island, where he was seen kite-surfing and wrestling with another tycoon friend.
  1. The Obama duo settled in the Kalorama neighborhood in Washington after vacating the White House. They purchased the house for $8.1M in 2016. In November of 2016 Barack was reportedly spotted on the golf course of his other house in Rancho Mirage, California. It was also found that they had bought another house in Martha’s Vineyard worth $11.75 million. It is reportedly a 6,892-square-foot area.
  1. Obama does not like ice cream, which could be because he worked shifts as a teenager at Baskin Robbins before. Instead, he likes to snack on chocolate-peanut protein bars, and his favorite candy is Fran’s Smoked Salt Caramels.
  1. Obama does not drink coffee, and his beverage pick is pretty scarce as well. However, he likes to indulge in black forest berry iced tea. He even has an alcoholic drink named after him. A Williamsburg microbrewery curated the Hop Obama in 2008. It sold out just 6 days after launching. 
  1. His haircut is pretty iconic, and it requires weekly maintenance. He gets his haircut from Zarif, who is his barber from Hyde Park. The cut costs $21. He wears uniform shoes in size 11. His apparel is mainly suits made by Hart Schaffner Marx that cost $1,500 or £952.
  1. Obama is left-handed, being one of 8 presidents in history that were left-handed. The other lefty presidents were James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
  1. As a high school student, Obama used cocaine and marijuana. He said it in his speeches, saying, “I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”
  1. Obama tried modeling, but he got rejected by the all-female committee. For Barack Obama Twitter too is a conquered region, with his tweet on 2017 Charlottesville tweet garnering 4.5 million likes, becoming the most liked tweet of 2017.
  1. The Obamas signed a multi-year deal with Netflix in May 2018. In the deal, the couple created exclusive Higher Ground Productions for Netflix, which is dedicated to producing “scripted and unscripted series as well as docu-series, documentary films, and multi-million-pound feature productions.” The duo is set to reveal their complete White Experience in a $48M contract. The deal also includes two books from each of them. The amount they are set to receive is 6 times what George Bush got after his 2009 exit.

Wrapping Up

Barack Obama has been one of the most positively illustrated presidents of the United States. More so after his term, given his successor. He also shines because there are no other black presidents of USA to compare him to. Now that you have read through 25 facts about Barack Obama, we hope this will give you a deep inside view of the ex-president’s life.

If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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sagnika sinha

Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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