50 Facts You Probably Didn't Know about Barack Obama

Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States, but there is a lot more to know about this popular president. He’s won a Grammy, read every single book in the Harry Potter series and carries a tiny Madonna and child statue for good luck. Here are 50 interesting things you probably didn’t know about President Obama.

  1. He’s bi-racial with a white mother and African father from Kenya. His parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.
  2. His father, Barack Hussein Obama was a Kenyan government official and a goat herder. His Stanley Ann (Dunham) Obama Soetoro is an anthropologist.
  3. Barack Obama Sr.’s father was opposed to his son’s marriage to Ann because he thought his son was neglecting his wife and two children in Kenya. He was also concerned because Ann was Caucasian.
  4. His parents divorced when Barack was two years old.
  5. His full name is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
  6. The name Barack means "one who is blessed" in Swahili.
  7. He was born August 4, 1961 in Honlulu, Hawaii. He lived in Indonesia for four years with his mother and stepfather before returning to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents.
  8. While living in Indonesia he got to eat some interesting items including grasshoppers and snake meat. Yummy!
  9. His grandmother had cute nicknames for him including Bear and Bar.
  10. He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball.
  11. Growing up, he collected Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics.
  12. He worked at Baskin-Robbins as a teenager. He must have eaten too much ice-cream because now he says he is not a fan of the dessert.
  13. As a teenager, he experimented with drugs including marijuana and cocaine.
  14. Obama was known as Barry growing up, but after going to university, he asked to be addressed by his full name.
  15. He is an orphan. His father died in a car accident in Kenya in 1982, and his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995.
  16. Barack can speak Indonesian and some Spanish.
  17. Rather embarrassingly, Obama applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while he was studying at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee. They probably regret this now.
  18. On his first date with Michelle, he took her to see the movie, "Do The Right Thing".
  19. Michelle said his “first car had so much rust that there was a rusted hole in the passenger door”.”
  20. While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead.
  21. Before his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama wrote a letter to his daughters for Parade Magazine. This letter was intended for his daughters and every other child in America.
  22. He has read every Harry Potter book with Malia, his eldest daughter.
  23. Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and for The Audacity of Hope in February 2008. He beat Bill Clinton who was seeking his third Grammy with Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, a call to public service.
  24. He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck.
  25. Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita.
  26. He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol.
  27. Obama’s go-to drink is black forest berry iced tea.
  28. His favorite healthy snack are apples.
  29. He has a beer named after him in Kenya.
  30. Obama’s favorite children’s book is “Where the Wild Things Are”
  31. He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – but he was unfortunately unable to kick the habit. He did reportedly quit in 2010.
  32. He is left-handed – the sixth post-war president to be left-handed.
  33. He is the first U.S. president to tweet. His account @BarackObama currently has over 41 million followers.
  34. Obama’s favorite TV shows are Homeland starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and The Wire.
  35. His favorite artists to listen to while he works out include the Rolling Stones, Jay Z and Stevie Wonder.
  36. What would Obama being doing if politics hadn’t worked out? He would have been an architect.
  37. He’s a well groomed man. He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21.
  38. His favorite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini.
  39. Obama's Secret Service handlers gave him the nickname "Renegade".
  40. Barack Obama owns a pair of boxing gloves owned by Muhammad Ali.
  41. Obama's favorite sport is basketball. With his 6'1 ½ height; it adds to his advantage on the basketball court.
  42. He loves the sport so much, he plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds. He might have to get started soon on this plan.
  43. Don’t mess with him, Obama can bench press an impressive 200lbs.
  44. He dislike it when youngsters wear sagging trousers which reveal their underwear. During an interview on MTV, Obama said laws that prohibit sagging trousers (yes, they did exist) are "a waste of time ... Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What's wrong with that? Come on. Some people might not want to see your underwear. I'm one of them."
  45. He had a “Snowmageddon” with his daughters at the White House after they got into a fun snowball fight on the South Lawn.
  46. Is he an Apple or PC guy? MacBook reigns supreme in his books.
  47. Obama once said the three men he admired the most were Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  48. He was named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year” in 2008. He was then awarded the Nobel Peace Prize although some critics said it was too soon since he had only been recently elected as president.
  49. Obama is a Christian and a former member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
  50. He is the first U.S. president to endorse same-sex marriage, but says the legal issue should be up to the states.


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