Barack Obama Facts: 10 Interesting Things You Might Not Know About the 44th President of the United States

President Obama

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the president’s swearing-in ceremony | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

How much do you know about former President Barack Obama? Here are a few presidential facts you might not know.

1. He’s a Grammy winner

Obama won two Grammy Awards. He won his first Grammy in 2006 for his spoken word album, Dreams from My Father. In 2008, he won his second Grammy Award for his spoken word album The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Obama beat out former President Bill Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter, who were also nominated for a Grammy.

2. He has his own holiday

In 2017, August 4th was declared “Barack Obama Day” in the state of Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a measure to make this day a holiday. The holiday will be celebrated each year on Obama’s birthday (August 4th) starting in 2018.

3. His name has a unique meaning

The name Barack means “blessing” in Arabic. When it comes to popular baby names, Barack ranked 4,184 in 2018 according to Baby Center. This is up by 13,694 from 2017.

4. He and Michelle have a deal with Netflix

In May 2018, Netflix announced Barack and Michelle Obama signed a production deal. The Obamas are slated to work behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.

5. He made history at Harvard University

In 1990, Obama became the first African-American to become president of the Harvard Law Review. “You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don’t get a chance,” said Obama in a 1990 interview with The New York Times. In 2017, ImeIme Umana became the first female African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.

6. Time magazine gave him a big honor

In December 2008, Time magazine named Barack Obama person of the year. He won the honor for the second time in December 2012. The magazine has had more than 11 U.S. presidents on its cover.

7. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner

In October 2009, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. On the Nobel Prize website, the organization says Obama won the award “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

8. He’s a published author

So far, he has written three books. His published works include The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006), Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (2007), and Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters (2010). Obama’s father was also an author. He wrote books for an adult literacy program in Africa. Original copies of the books went up for auction in 2017.

9. He was the first sitting U.S. president to make this trip

Obama has had a lot of firsts in his lifetime. In May 2016, he became the first sitting U.S president to visit Hiroshima, Japan. During his speech at the city’s Peace Memorial, he said he hoped for a world without nuclear weapons.

10. His parents met in college

Barack Obama’s father, Barack Obama Jr., was a former goat herder who later became an economist. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was an anthropologist. The couple met while students at the University of Hawaii.

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