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Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the President-elect of the United States and the junior United States Senator from Illinois. Obama is the first African American to be elected President of the United States.
He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70 percent of the vote.
As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, he helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for returned U.S. military personnel.
Obama announced his presidential campaign in February 2007, and was nominated at the 2008 Democratic National Convention with Senator Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate. In the 2008 presidential election, he won 53% of the popular vote and 365 electoral college votes against Senator John McCain's 46% of the popular vote and 162 electoral college votes (Missouri [11 votes] is still being counted, as is one electoral vote in Nebraska).