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What was Barack Obama's childhood like?

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Quick Answer

Barack Hussein Obama was born into a multiracial family and spent his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia. These experiences came to greatly influence his worldview and career.

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Full Answer

Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Ann Durham and Barack Obama, Sr.

Obama did not have a strong relationship with his father. He left to study at Harvard University when his son was an infant, and the couple divorced when Obama was 2 years old. His father returned to Kenya in 1965. He died in a car accident in 1982 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Durham was remarried in 1965 to Lolo Soetoro, a student from Indonesia. The family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia when Obama was 6 years old. His half sister, Maya Soetoro, was born there. When he was 10 years old, his mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. There, he attended Punaou school, a top private school, where he was one of only three black students. He graduated high school in 1979 with academic honors.

Barack's mother was from Kansas, and his father was from the Nyanza Province of western Kenya. They met while attending a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii and married on Feb. 2, 1961.

Obama went on to become the 44th president of the United States.

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