August 4, 1961: Barack Obama was born. He is the 44th president, serving since 2009. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He then moved to Chicago, where he had worked as a community organizer before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004, but in 2000 he was defeated in an attempt to win a Congressional seat.

In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November.

In 2007, he announced his campaign for the presidency, and went on to win the Democratic nomination, overcoming a stiff challenge from New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who had been favored to win the nomination. In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain — becoming the first African-American to be elected president of the United States.

In his first term in office, his major domestic policy initiatives included signing the economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 in response to the 2007–2009 recession in the United States; the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010; and the Budget Control Act of 2011. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the new START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support legalizing same-sex marriage.

He was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He is the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win two presidential elections with a majority of the popular vote.

Quote of the Day

"Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do." -Barack Obama

More from West Wing Reports...