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Barack Obama Biographical Timeline

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Obama runs for U.S. Senate.

Barack Obama was an Illinois State Senator when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. He overwhelmingly defeated Republican Alan Keyes for the Illinois seat that was vacated by Peter Fitzgerald.

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Barack Obama seemingly rocketed to the Presidency of the United States from his public service to the citizens of Illinois and his humble beginnings in Honolulu, Hawaii. Track the rise of the President Barack Obama with this biographical timeline of key dates and events in his life.

1961
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4.

1979 Attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA.

1981 Transferred to Columbia University in New York.

1983
Graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor's Degree and a major in political science.

1985
Moves to Chicago to become a community organizer with the Developing Communities Project. Operates out of the rectory at Holy Rosary Catholic Church on 351 E. 113th Street.

1991
  • Graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. While there became the first African-American Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
  • Returns to Chicago. Practices civil rights law.
1992

1995
Runs for and wins the Illinois Senate Seat from the 13th District in the Illinois General Assembly.

1998 2000
Runs in primary for U.S. House of Representatives against four-time incumbent Bobby Rush and loses.

2001
Daughter Sasha born.

2002
Wins re-election in IL Senate.

2004
  • Gives keynote address at Democratic National Convention on July 27. This exposure widely broadens his popularity and fame.
  • Resoundingly defeats Republican Alan Keyes to win the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in November. It is the first Senate race in U.S. history where two African Americans from the two major parties vie for a seat.
2007

Announces his run for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States on February 10 in Springfield, IL at the Old State Capitol Building.

2008 2009

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