Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. He was previously the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Before that, he served in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 until 2004.
He is the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree.
During his first two years in office, Obama signed many landmark bills into law. The main reforms were the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as “Obamacare”, shortened as the “Affordable Care Act”), the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expanded the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, accepting the award with the caveat that he felt there were others “far more deserving of this honor than I.”