Here are the highlights of US president elect Barack Obama's life and career:
Born: August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Parentage: Father Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang'oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Mother Ann Dunham, a white American from Wichita, Kansas.
Education: BA in international relations, 1983, Columbia University. JD from Harvard Law School; Elected first black president of the Law Review in February 1990.
Present Family: Married Michelle Robinson, another Harvard Law School graduate, October 18, 1992. They have two young daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Faith: Christian, United Church of Christ.
Political career: Worked as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago in 1991. Organised one of the largest voter registration drives in Chicago history to help Bill Clinton's 1992 election as president. Elected thrice to Illinois state senate in 1996, 1998 and 2002. Made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the US House of Representatives in 2000.
Rises to national prominence with an inspiring keynote speech at the July 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Elected to the US Senate November 2, 2004, as the fifth African American Senator in US history, and the third to have been popularly elected. Declared his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination February 10, 2007.
Officially becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency June 3, 2008.
Accepts party nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008.
Wins US presidential election: November 4, 2008.
Signed a $1.9 million deal to author three books in 2004. The first, "The Audacity of Hope," discusses his political convictions. The second book will be co-written with his wife.
Dubbed one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2005.