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Barack Obama Signature Moments: 5 Early Life Events That Led President's Rise

By    |   Monday, 24 Nov 2014 06:11 PM

The ability to run into the right people at the right time imprinted the Barack Obama signature on U.S. politics. Beginning in his youth, Obama was being molded into presidential material.

Here are five early life events that helped propel him to the White House:

1. Obama didn’t have a relationship with his father, divorced from his mother when Barack was 2 years old, or his stepfather from Indonesia where the family lived until he was 10. On his return to Hawaii, he lived with his maternal grandparents.

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During his teens in Hawaii, he was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, a "card-carrying Communist" who would influence Obama’s political views, according to Paul Kengor in his book “The Communist.” A student who later knew him at Occidental College remarked that Obama was already well versed in Marxist theory by 1980, although not a communist.

2. After graduating with a political science degree at Columbia University in New York City, Obama advanced his political aims as a community organizer for low-income residents in the South Side of Chicago. He led the residents to pressure city officials to improve the conditions of their housing projects.

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3. Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988 and added the Barack Obama signature to his résumé as the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. The little that has been uncovered about Obama’s writings at that time shows he was grammatically challenged and uninspiring in his thoughts, according to history writer Jack Cashill. Obama’s Harvard credentials, however, got him a book contract with Simon and Schuster, which ended the contract three years later when the book wasn’t produced.

4. Obama’s writing miraculously improved a short time later, Cashill notes, when “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” was published in 1995. Time magazine called it “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.” It was reprinted in 2004, as Obama’s political career was receiving nationwide notice.

5. The future president’s work as a community organizer contributed to his victory for an Illinois state Senate seat and he met political consultant David Axelrod, who helped prepare him for a run for the U.S. Senate. His campaign received a big boost when he was invited to give the keynote address for John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. His Republican opponent in the Senate race, Jack Ryan, was forced to drop out when scandalous details about his divorce were leaked, sealing the Barack Obama signature in national politics.

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The ability to run into the right people at the right time imprinted the Barack Obama signature on U.S. politics. Beginning in his youth, Obama was being molded into presidential material.
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2014-11-24
Monday, 24 Nov 2014 06:11 PM
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