Sunday, June 23, 2024

25 Facts About Barack Obama – The Man Behind the Presidency | PHOTOs

Former President during a speech at the Charlotte Convention Center

*There’s little question that the election of President Barack Obama was a landmark moment in American politics. As the first Black President to ever hold the office, his presidential administration has been a milestone of profound, symbolic importance. After witnessing his two terms in the White House, we’re all trivia buffs of sorts. We know he’s a true family man, likes to wear dad jeans, and plays basketball. Still, for fun, we have dug up 25 facts about Barack Obama that may have escaped your attention—until now.

1. His Name Has a Special Meaning

The name “Obama” is an ancient Kenyan surname, found frequently among the Luo, which means “to lean or bend.”

“Barack,” on the other hand, is derived from the Swahili word “Baraka,” which stands for “the one who is blessed” or “blessing.”

2. He’s Most Certainly an American Citizen

An extraordinary thing happened in American politics in the early 2000s: sitting president Barack Obama was forced to prove he was an American citizen and thus eligible to be in office.

Barack Obama - screenshot
Barack Obama – screenshot

The hotly-contested topic lasted for several years until Obama finally released a verified copy of his long-form birth certificate, proving that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was, in fact, a US citizen.

3. He Has No Full Siblings, But Numerous Half-Siblings

He has a half-sister on his mother’s side who lives in Hawaii and seven half-brothers and sisters on his father’s side back in Kenya.

4. He Worked at Baskin-Robbins

As a teenager in Honolulu, Obama worked a summer job at Baskin-Robbins. Eight years ago, he shared his experience on LinkedIn. He wrote, “Scooping ice cream is not as easy as it looks. Rows and rows of rock-hard ice cream can be brutal on your wrists.”

“And while that job made me lose my taste for ice cream, I’ll never forget the people who gave me that opportunity and helped me reach where I am today,” he added.

5. He Was Nicknamed “O’Bomber” In High School

As if his official name didn’t have enough meaning, Obama was fondly called “O’Bomber” during his high school days. This was due to his love for basketball, a sport he’s enjoyed and excelled at since childhood.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

6. He Tried Modeling at Harvard

Yes, the ex-president tried modeling while studying at Harvard. However, his modeling career quickly ended after he got rejected by an all-female committee. But, let’s agree, the rejection was probably good for him as he was destined for something greater – the presidency of the United States!

7. He’s a Lefty

There’s one quality many people may not have noticed about the former President until he signed his first bill: Obama is left-handed. This makes him the eighth left-handed US president, following in the footsteps of lefties George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

8. Definitely Not a Coffee Person

As it turns out, caffeinated beverages are not the President’s drink of choice. Reggie Love, his former aide, shared that Obama prefers green tea, orange juice, or water to coffee in the morning.

9. He’s a Successful Author

Obama has left an indelible mark in the sphere of authorship. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: A Promised Land, The Audacity of Hope, and Dreams From My Father.

10. He’s Had Some Strange Foods Growing Up

In his book Dreams from My Father, Obama revealed that he ate some fascinating foods while growing up in his mother’s hometown. He stated that he tried dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshoppers, a popular delicacy among Southeast Asian locals.

Barack & Michelle Obama - gettyimages
Barack & Michelle Obama – gettyimages

11. Michelle Was His Mentor

Obama initially met Michelle Robinson at a Chicago law firm as a part of a summer associateship program, where Michelle was actually Barack’s mentor.

12. Do the Right Thing

For their very first date, Obama took Michelle to see Spike Lee’s monumental film, Do The Right Thing. He teased MTV, “So Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle.”

13. Here Are the Voting Stats

In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected President for the first time, he garnered nearly 69.5 million votes, the most votes cast for a President in the country’s history. The record, however, was broken by Joe Biden in 2020, when he won against Donald J. Trump to become the 46th United States President.

14. Neither of His Parents Witnessed His Inauguration

Unfortunately, Obama lost his parents way before he forged his place in American history. His father died in a traffic collision in 1982. His mother succumbed to ovarian cancer in 1995.

15. His Go-to Spot in the White House Was the Truman Balcony

This has nothing to do with the Easter bunny and everything to do with the fact that President Obama told Vanity Fair, “It’s the closest you can get to feeling outside the bubble.”

Barack Obama - on George Floyd protests - screenshot
Barack Obama

16. He’s a Two-Time Grammy Award Winner

No, Obama didn’t record a jazz album or compose any soundtracks – he won the “Best Spoken Word Album” category for his audiobook reading of two of his memoirs, A Promised Land and The Audacity of Hope.

17. How About a Nobel Peace Prize?

The Former President had been in power for less than a year when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009. Thorbjoern Jagland, the committee chairman, said, “Only rarely has a person like Obama captured the world’s attention and given hope for a better future.”

18. He’s a Binge-Watcher

Game of Thrones, Homeland, and House of Cards are all shows Obama has said to work his way through.

19. A Big iPad Fan

When Former President Obama isn’t wining and dining with the media or flying around the world, he’s on his iPad.

Not only that, but he apparently has some high-profile connections at Apple that gave him the iPad “a little bit early.” And by high profile, we mean none other than Steve Jobs!

Barack Obama - Netflix
Barack Obama – Netflix

20. He’s a Partner With Netflix

Get ready to stream a new batch of Netflix content courtesy of the former President and First Lady. The deal was made in 2018 with the streaming platform through their production company, Higher Ground Productions. Michelle said, per Essence, “We look forward to starting this new, exciting partnership.”

21. He’s Been Featured on TIME (twice!)

President Barack Obama has won TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of The Year’ twice.

22. Winner Chili!

Does President Barack Obama have time to cook? Apparently so. The former first lady said on a show that he’s “not a bad cook,” adding that his specialty is stir and chili fry. “He’s very proud of his chili,” she grinned.

23. Being a Father Is One of His Greatest Accomplishments

“Of all that I have achieved in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.”

24. He’s the Harry Potter Parent

The proud father has read all seven installments with his eldest daughter, Malia.

arack Obama with a Hanuman figurine during an interview - (YouTube screengrab)
arack Obama with a Hanuman figurine during an interview – (YouTube screengrab)

25. He Carries Good Luck Charms

When asked to show off an item of personal significance during an interview, Obama pulled out a bunch of small totems from his pocket. “I carry these around all the time. If I feel discouraged or tired, I can reach into my pocket and say yeah, that’s something I can overcome.”

President Obama’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary—from his humble beginnings to his groundbreaking presidency, he has made himself a respected and inspiring figure in every sphere of life. Want to learn more? You can visit his website for more information.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Barack Obama Says White House Exit Helped Save His Marriage

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