Facts About The 44th President, Barack Obama

October 5, 2017 | Jennifer Crump

Facts About The 44th President, Barack Obama

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American to serve as president. His historic presidency, however, is only one of the many interesting facts about Obama. Here are 44 facts about the 44th president.

Barack Obama Facts

44. The 50th’s First Son

Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the first president to be born in the 50th state and the first born outside of the continental United States.

Barack ObamaPixabay

43. Melting Pot

Obama is biracial, and his extended family is incredibly multicultural. Obama's Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., met his white American mother, Ann Dunham, while taking a Russian language class at Honolulu University. His stepfather is from Indonesia.

Barack Obama facts Flickr, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta

42. He Ate What?

While in Indonesia, Obama tried some pretty intriguing foods: snake meat, dog meat and roasted grasshopper.

Barack Obama facts Wikipedia

41. First Pets

While he was in Indonesia, Obama had a pet ape named Tata. The Obama family now has two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


40. Heroes

Obama's real-life heroes include: Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, and John Coltrane.

Martin Luther King Jr. FactsGetty Images

39. What’s in a Name?

Obama’s first name, Barack, is an African name that means "blessed."

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

38. You’ve Been O'Bombed

In high school, Obama was known as the "O'Bomber" in reference to his basketball skills.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

37. Gains

Obama can bench press 200 lbs.

Barack Obama facts Pixabay


36. Keepsake

Obama owns a pair of boxing gloves autographed by Mohammed Ali.

Barack Obama facts Wikimedia Commons


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35. A Grandmother's Love

His grandmother, with whom he lived in Hawaii for many years, had cute nicknames for him that included “Bear” and “Bar.”

Edward VII factsShutterstock


34. Barry Who?

People called Obama "Barry" until university. Once he got to Harvard, he asked that people called him "Barack."

Barack Obama facts Pixabay

33. First Ladies

Obama married Michelle Robinson, a fellow Harvard law graduate, in 1992. They have two daughters: Malia, born in 1998, and Sasha, born in 2001.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

32. Smarty Pants

Obama was the first African-American to be elected President of the Harvard Law Review. He also graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law.

Barack Obama facts Pixabay

31. Favourite Foods

Obama's favourite meal is his wife Michelle's shrimp linguini.

Barack Obama facts PxHere

30. First Chef

It's a good thing Michelle cooks for her husband, because she says Obama doesn't often get the chance to prepare meals. When he does, Michelle says the former president likes to cook chilli.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


29. Cold Shoulder

One treat Obama doesn’t enjoy? Ice cream. He worked at Baskin and Robbins as a teenager and had his fill of the frozen dessert.

Barack Obama facts Wikimedia Commons, Tokumeigakarinoaoshima


28. Renaissance Man

Obama is also a published author. He has written three books: Dreams From My Father in 1995, The Audacity of Hope in 2006, and Of Thee I Sing in 2010.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

27. Grammy Winner

In 2006, Obama won a Grammy for best spoken word album for the audiobook of Dreams From My Father. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have also won grammys in the same category for their books.

Adam Levine quizShutterstock

26. Left-Leaning

Obama is left-handed, and is the sixth post-war president to be a southpaw.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

25. First Visits

He was the first sitting president ever to visit Japan, Laos, and Myanmar, and the first sitting president in 88 years to visit Cuba. The visits all happened in 2016.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

24. Freezing for a First

Obama was also the first sitting president to enter the Arctic circle: In 2015, he visited Kotzebue, Alaska to view firsthand the effects of climate change on the area.

Barack Obama facts Obama White House Archives

23. Institutional First

Another presidential first was his visit to a federal prison: the Federal Correctional Institution, El Reno in Oklahoma.

History's Greatest Revenges factsPixabay


22. Hit the Books

Obama's favorite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


21. Cleaning the Closet

Obama was the first president to declare his support for same sex marriage; he did so during his second term.

True Urban Legends factsPixabay

20. Game Night

Obama’s favourite games are Scrabble and poker.

Barack Obama facts Pixabay

19. Yes, He Did Inhale

Obama has been very open about his teenage drug use. He has openly admitted to using marijuana and cocaine in high school. "I inhaled frequently. That was the point."

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

18. I Wish I Knew How to Quit You

Obama jokingly admitted to a UN official that he quit smoking because he was afraid of his wife. The offhand comments were inadvertently caught on a hot mic!

Michelle Obama FactsGetty Images

17. Pin-Up

While studying at Harvard, Obama put his name forward to be a model for a black pin-up calendar. The all-female committee rejected him.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

16. You’re a Wizard, Barry!

Obama has read every single Harry Potter book with his daughter Malia.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix FactsWikimedia Commons

15. No News

While campaigning, Obama refused to watch CNN and instead opted for checking out sports channels.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


14. Film School

Obama's favorite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Humphrey Bogart factsPixabay


Casablanca scene.

13. Beer Me

In 2008, a microbrewery in Williamsburg created a new brew called Hop Obama. It sold out in six days.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

12. Ok, Not Him

Obama himself seldom drinks alcohol and never drinks coffee. His favourite drink? Black forest berry iced tea.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


11. Building the Future

If he hadn’t discovered politics, Obama says he would have become an architect.

Samuel L. Jackson factsPixabay

10. Trim and Fit

Obama gets his hair cut every week by his barber, Zarif, in Chicago. The cost? $21.

Barack Obama facts Flickr, Obama White House

9. On a Streak

Obama made Time magazine’s list of the "100 most influential people in the world" in 2005, 2007, 2013 and 2014.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

8. Banner Year

He was also named Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 2008.

Boy Meets World factsShutterstock


7. The Nobel Laureate

In October 2009, Obama won the Nobel Peace prize.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

6. Seeing Double

Obama owns four of the exact same pair of black shoes in size 11.

Fire Me, I Dare You factsShutterstock

5. Couch Potato

Obama’s favourite television shows are The Wire and Homeland.

Barack Obama facts Pixabay

4. Date Night

Michelle and Barack Obama went to see Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing on their first date.

Michelle Obama FactsGetty Images

3. Popularity Contest

At his 2009 inauguration, Obama achieved one of the highest ever approval ratings for an incoming president–69%!

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

2. The Renegade

The Secret Service agents who guarded Obama called him “Renegade,” and the code name was actually used because Obama had chosen it. He was given a choice of four nicknames, which all started with "R." As per tradition, his family member were given code names starting with the same letter. His wife, Michelle, was known as “Renaissance,” and his daughters Malia and Sasha were respectively known as “Radiance” and “Rosebud."

Barack Obama facts Getty Images

1. Twitter Star

Obama holds the record for the tweet with the most likes of all time. In response to the Charlottesville tragedy in August 2017, Obama tweeted the beginning of a Nelson Mandela quote. The inspirational tweet was retweeted 1.7 million times and liked a whopping 4.5 million times.

Barack Obama facts Getty Images


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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