President Barack Obama, born in 1961 in Honolulu, is of blended heritage, with his father having been born in Kenya and his mother in Kansas. His parents met at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus where they were both students.Continue Reading
Barack Obama, Sr. was the University of Hawaii's first student from a country in Africa. He was a member of the Kenyan ethnic group known as the Luo, which were instrumental in their nation's fight for independence in the 1950s. Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, was raised in Kansas, where a number of her ancestors actively opposed slavery in the 1800s. A team of genealogists discovered that Dunham's forefathers likely included one of the first documented African slaves in the United States.
Obama's parents divorced when he was 2 years old, with Barack, Sr. leaving to earn his doctorate degree in economics at Harvard University. Years later, he returned to Kenya where, in the early 1980s, he died in a motor vehicle accident.
Meanwhile, Obama's mother remarried, this time to an Indonesian man who worked in the oil industry. The family moved to that country when Obama was 6 years old. It was while there, near the capital city of Jakarta, that his half-sister Maya was born.
When he was 10 years old, Obama moved back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. He was joined by his mother and sister later.Learn more about US History