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About Barack Obama

United States Senator for Illinois Barack Obama has dedicated his life to public service as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and leader in the Illinois state Senate. He continues his fight for working families in the United States Senate.

world Updated: Oct 17, 2008 10:04 IST

United States Senator for Illinois Barack Obama has dedicated his life to public service as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and leader in the Illinois state Senate. He continues his fight for working families in the United States Senate.

Sworn into office on January 4, 2005, Senator Obama has focused on tackling the challenges of a globalized, 21st-century world with fresh thinking and judgment that no longer settles for the lowest common denominator. Recognizing the terrorist threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, he traveled to Russia with Republican Richard Lugar to begin a new generation of non-proliferation efforts designed to find and secure deadly weapons around the world. Understanding the threat we face to our economy and our security from America's addiction to oil, he's working to bring auto companies, unions, farmers, businesses, and politicians of both parties together to promote the greater use of alternative fuels and higher fuel standards in our cars. He has been a leading voice in championing ethics reform that would change the culture of corruption in Washington. Whether it's the poverty exposed by Katrina, the genocide in Darfur, the needs of America’s veterans, or the challenges facing working Americans during hard economic times, Senator Obama continues to lead on the issues that will define America in the 21st century.

He serves as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

During his eight years in the Illinois state Senate, Senator Obama worked with both Democrats and Republicans to help working families get ahead by creating programs like the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which in three years provided over $100 million in tax cuts to families across the state. He also pushed through an expansion of early childhood education, and after a number of inmates on death row were found innocent, Senator Obama enlisted the support of law enforcement officials to draft legislation requiring the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

Senator Obama was born on August 4th, 1961, in Hawaii to Barack Obama, Sr. and Ann Dunham. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983, and moved to Chicago in 1985 to work for a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment. In 1991, Senator Obama graduated from Harvard Law School where he was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.

Senator Obama is especially proud of being a husband and father of two daughters, Malia and Sasha. He and his wife, Michelle, married in 1992 and live on Chicago’s South Side.