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Barack Obama was born on August 4,in Honolulu, Hawaiiwhere he was raised by his mother and her parents. He was the first president born there and the first to be born after the country had 50 states. He took a break from school to volunteer in Chicago, Illinois, before earning a law degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Senate in and then the presidency in He then went on to become the first African American to be elected president of the United States.
His white mother was from Kansas ; his black father from Kenyaa country in Africa. He took office during the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression during the s, when one-fourth of all workers were unemployed and people traveled the country looking for food and work.
Many called the new crisis the Great Recession. With help from the Democrat-controlled Congress, Obama worked to improve the economy and ultimately added jobs for 75 straight months, the longest streak in American history. Anger spread when people felt left behind. The Democrats soon lost control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and Obama struggled to pass legislation.
Obama wanted to change that. Although Republicans opposed the plan, saying it was too expensive for the government to fund, it was ed into law in And some people who had the insurance said it was just as expensive, or more expensive, than their plans which were no longer available to them.
The Affordable Care Act remains controversial today, with many people fighting against it. Although the economy continued to improve in the United States, Obama faced challenges in other countries. President George W. Bush also sent troops to Iraq inafter rumors that the country was hiding dangerous weapons that the president wanted to find and destroy.
Bush's decision to attack these countries was met with general support at first, but by the time Obama became president, public opinion had changed. Some 7, American soldiers had died at this point, with an additional 50, more wounded. Many Americans wanted these wars to be over. His death during the raid was a blow to al Qaeda and gave some U. By the end ofObama had withdrawn all combat troops from Iraq. But U. Despite wars overseas, Obama reached out to other nations in hopes of maintaining peace.
InPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower cut ties with the island nation of Cuba because of its support for the communist Soviet Union now Russia.
Obama tried to ease those tensions by re-opening an embassy there in He was the first sitting president to visit the city since that event. For his peace efforts, in he became the fourth president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama replaced the retiring male justices with women: Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the first person of Latino heritage on the high court. For the first time, the court had three female justices. The decision legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
But his Republican opponents worried that he would appoint someone who would change how the court made decisions. No Supreme Court nominee had been denied a hearing during an election year before this. The remaining eight justices continued to work, but important matters were left unresolved when they deadlocked with 4—4 votes. Obama left office after two terms in January with a 60 percent approval rating, higher than most presidents at the end of their presidency. He remained in Washington, D. Obama made history by being the first African American to win the presidency.
As a recent president, however, his legacy is still being determined. What future presidents do with Obama's policies and how involved Obama gets in world politics will help shape how his presidency is perceived in the future. No other president had used it since Lincoln. Presidents by Brianna Dumont, revised for digital by Avery Hurt.
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