October 9, 2009 / 10:28 AM / in 10 years

FACTBOX-Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace prize

Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama, 48, won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace on Friday.

Here are some facts about Obama.

EARLY LIFE

Barack Obama was born in August 1961 to a Kenyan father and a white American mother. His father, Barack Obama Sr., married his mother, Ann Dunham, while studying at the University of Hawaii. The couple separated two years after Obama was born. He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia.

After finishing college in 1983, Obama worked for a New York financial consultancy. He landed a job in Chicago in 1985 as an organizer for Developing Communities Project, a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods.

Three years later, Obama went to Harvard Law School, where he became the first black president of the law review.

POLITICAL CAREER

* Obama won a seat in the Illinois state Senate in 1996. During his time there he worked on welfare and ethics issues.

* Obama won a heavily contested U.S. Senate seat in 2004, carrying 53 percent of the Democratic primary vote in an eight-candidate race. He easily won the general election as well. In the U.S. Senate he compiled a liberal voting record, but was one of the few Democrats to back a measure on class-action lawsuits.

ROAD TO PRESIDENCY

* Obama announced his presidential candidacy on Feb. 10, 2007. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton was initially seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

* Obama won the first contest of the Democratic primary in Iowa in January 2008, but did not clinch the nomination until the last states had cast their ballots in June.

* Obama won 53 percent of the popular vote on Nov. 4, beating Republican rival John McCain, and became the first black U.S. president

A LONG YEAR

* In April, Obama launched a plan to create a world free of nuclear weapons in a speech in the Czech capital Prague. He said the United States would reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security and urge others to follow.

His plan envisaged maintaining "a safe, secure and effective arsenal" to deter adversaries as long as such arms exist and negotiate a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia.

* In June, Obama told the world’s Muslims that violent extremists had exploited tensions between Muslims and the West, and that Islam was not part of the problem but part of promoting peace.

Obama delivered a speech aimed to heal a rift between Washington and the Islamic world from Cairo University in the centre of Egypt’s sprawling capital.

* In July, Obama told Africans that Western aid must be matched by good governance as he urged them to take greater responsibility for stamping out war, corruption and disease plaguing the continent.

He delivered the message on his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as U.S. president. He chose stable, democratic Ghana based on his view it can serve as a model for the rest of Africa.

* In the Middle East Obama has said "the time had come to move determinately forward" and that comprehensive peace in the Middle East was not a "zero-sum game" but a "win-win" situation for all the parties.

* Last month Obama made his first address to the U.N. General Assembly. Obama pressed world leaders on Wednesday to help confront challenges ranging from the war in Afghanistan to nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea instead of expecting the United States to do it all alone.

* Reflecting the pressure he faces for results on a slew of foreign policy problems, Obama issued a blunt message in his United Nations debut that other countries must shoulder a larger burden in tackling international crises.

* In September, Obama also chaired a historic meeting of the U.N. Security Council, which unanimously approved a U.S.-drafted resolution calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their arsenals. Sources Reuters/http//nobelprize.org







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