2012 Presidential Election
Pros and Cons
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Hawaii: Barack Obama born Aug. 4, 1961
Barack Hussein Obama II was born at the Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital at 7:24 PM on Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father was Barack Hussein Obama (Kenyan citizen), and his mother was Stanley Ann Dunham (US citizen).
Documentation:
  1. Short form birth certificate (53 KB) , DOB: Aug. 4, 1961
  2. Long form birth certificate (377 KB) , DOB: Aug. 4, 1961
  3. Birth announcement (345 KB) in the Honolulu Advertiser, Aug. 13, 1961
  4. Birth announcement (291 KB) in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Aug. 14, 1961
  5. White House statement (1.7 MB) on release of long form birth certificate, Apr. 27, 2011
Indonesia: Barack Obama age 6-11
Obama’s mother moved to Indonesia in 1967, and Barack Obama attended the following two schools in the country from age 6-11.
Fransiskus Assisi School, elementary school, Jakarta, Indonesia (age 6-8)
Barack Obama attended this Catholic school in Jakarta, Indonesia before transferring to Besuki Public School. He was registered at Fransiskus Assisi under the name Barry Soetoro by his step-father, Lolo Soetoro. The document lists Barry Soetoro as an Indonesian citizen, born on Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu, and shows his Muslim step-father listed Barack Obama's religion as Islam.
Documentation:
  1. Registration document (144 KB) from Fransiskus Assisi, Jan. 1, 1968
  2. Los Angeles Times article (573 KB) on Obama’s childhood in Indonesia, Mar. 15, 2007
  3. Chicago Tribune article (1.5 MB) quotes former classmates and teachers as having known Obama at the school, Mar. 25, 2007
Besuki Public School, elementary school, Jakarta, Indonesia (age 8-11)
Barack Obama attended this public school in Indonesia until moving back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents at age 11.
Documentation:
  1. Chicago Tribune article (1.5 MB) quotes former classmates and teachers as having known Obama at the school, Mar. 25, 2007
Hawaii: Barack Obama age 11-18
Obama and his mother return to Hawaii to live with her parents. Barack Obama lived in Hawaii from age 11 to age 18.
Punahou School, private college preparatory school, Honolulu, Hawaii (age 11-17 or 18)
Barack Obama attended Punahou Prep school in Hawaii where he graduated high school.
Documentation:
  1. Chicago Tribune article (1.5 MB) quotes former classmates and teachers as having known Obama at the school, Mar. 25, 2007
California: 1979-1981
Obama moved to California in 1979 at age 18 to attend Occidental College after graduation from high school in Hawaii.
Occidental College (1979-1981)
Barack Obama attended Occidental College from fall 1979 through spring 1981 and then transferred to Columbia University in New York. His transcripts have not been made publically available.
Documentation:
  1. Occidental College webpage (63 KB) on Barack Obama attendance record
  2. Published two poems (83 KB) in the Occidental College poetry journal Feast, available at the Library of Congress website, Spring 1982
  3. Los Angeles Times article (66 KB) quotes student recollections of Obama while he was attending Occidental College, Jan. 29, 2007
New York: 1981-1983
Obama moved to New York City to attend Columbia University in 1981. He lived there until graduation in 1983 and for a period of time afterward. Obama eventually moved to Chicago where he landed a job as a community organizer. He worked for about four years before moving to Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School.
Columbia University (1981-1983)
Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Political Science in 1983. His transcripts have not been made publically available.
Documentation:
  1. Article written by Barack Obama and published in the Columbia University weekly magazine The Sun Dial, "Breaking The War Mentality(1 KB) , Mar. 10, 1983
  2. Article (344 KB) published in Columbia College Today by Shira Boss-Bicak about Obama’s background, Jan. 2005
  3. New York Times article (71 KB) with interview of Obama’s friend while at Columbia, Jan. 20, 2009
Massachusetts: 1988-1991
Obama moved to Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School where he lived from 1988 to 1991.
Harvard Law School (1988-1991)
Barack Obama entered Harvard Law School at age 27 and attended from 1988 to 1991. He graduated with a JD degree in 1991. While at Harvard, he served on the board of the Black Law Students Association, and was elected President of the Harvard Law Review in spring 1990. Obama spent one summer during law school as an associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin. His transcripts have not been made publically available.
Documentation:
  1. Harvard Law School webpage (89 KB) on Barack Obama and his time there
  2. New York Times article (69 KB) on Obama’s Election as the First Black President of the Harvard Law Review, Feb. 6, 1990
  3. Article about abortion authored by Barack Obama in the Harvard Law Review titled "Tort Law. Prenatal Injuries. Supreme Court of Illinois Refuses to Recognize Cause of Action Brought by Fetus against Its Mother for Unintentional Infliction of Prenatal Injuries(788 KB) , Vol. 103. No. 3, Jan. 1990
  4. New York Times article (77 KB) on Obama’s leadership style while president of the Harvard Law Review, Jan. 28, 2007
  5. Wall Street Journal article (77 KB) on Obama’s time at Sidley & Austin, May 11, 2007
  6. Politico article (44 KB) explaining why Obama’s article in the Harvard Law Review was unsigned, Aug. 22, 2008
  7. PBS Frontline interview (547 KB) with Casandra Butts, a fellow student on the Harvard Law Review who knew Obama, July 10, 2008

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