Barack Obama: Hawaii’s Favorite Son
Barack Obama is the first U.S. President to be elected having been born in Hawaii. He was born on the island of Oahu and spent much of his youth living in Honolulu. Living in Hawaii with such a diversity of cultures and ethnic acceptance he says has helped shape his world view, and the values he holds most dear.
He grew up enjoying many of the things any teenager in Hawaii would enjoy doing, including playing basketball, academics, snorkeling, bodysurfing, reading, music, and poetry. Barack Obama even had a job in high school scooping ice cream at a Baskin Robbins near his grandparent’s house! He was known by his peers as a friendly, warm person who was always smiling and was a much deeper person than just basketball and books. He has expressed in many interviews that his experiences at Punahou helped shape the person he is today. From ethics class to inspirational and influential teachers, his experience of growing up in Hawaii has never left him and continues to impact his personality and policy as our President.
He Loves to Come Back
President Barack Obama vacations to Oahu, Hawaii with the First Family every December for the holidays. They stay at a small beachfront estate on the sandy shores of Kailua Beach. With these yearly visits, he has been able to share his passion and love for Hawaii with his wife and children who enjoy many of the same activities as he did growing up here in Hawaii.
Born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Oahu at the Queen Kapiolani Hospital for Women and Children, Barack Obama is the first president to have been born in Hawaii. His parents met in a Russian language class while studying at the University of Hawaii. They married shortly before Barack was born, and he was raised on the island until he was six when his mother moved the family to Indonesia after remarrying.
Growing Up In Hawaii
Barack Obama returned to Hawaii at the age of 10 to live with his grandparents. He attended the prestigious Punahou School on a scholarship, which is regarded as one of the finest college preparatory schools in the country. He excelled at Punahou and enmeshed himself well with his peers. Many of them remember him for his smile, interest in jazz music, playing basketball, and writing poetry. The years he spent growing up in Hawaii and attending Punahou have continually shaped who he is not only as a person but as a politician.
From Hawaii To Harvard
After graduating from Punahou in 1979, Barack Obama moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College, from there he transferred to Columbia University in New York. He studied Political Science with a specialty in International Relations. After graduating, he moved to Chicago and worked as a community organizer and developer. It was here he realized that a background in law would help him achieve the community changes he was passionate about. In 1988, after achieving success in community revitalization in some of Chicago’s worst neighborhoods, he went on to enroll in Harvard Law School in 1988. He was even elected president of the Harvard Law Review, a scholarly journal written by students at the school.
Snorkeling To Senator
Just 20 years after snorkeling at Hanauma Bay as a young teen, Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He gained popularity among his political peers and the people by sponsoring legislation built upon his civil ethics and financially modest background.He ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 2004 based upon many of the pillars he grew up respecting and learning about in Hawaii, and continues to do so as he runs for reelection in 2012.
Facts & Trivia
- Island: People
- Fun Fact: President Barack Obama enjoys bodysurfing at Sandy Beach, shave ice, plate lunches, and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay while vacationing in Hawaii.
- Pop Culture: In his senior year of high school, Barack Obamas helped his varsity basketball team to the Hawaii state championships and win! On his team were former professional footballers John Kamana of the Atlanta Falcons and Mark Tuinei of the Dallas Cowboys.