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Join date : 2010-05-24
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PostSubject: Barack Obama...?GREAT MAN   Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:13 am

Barack Obama

Most people know him as the 44th president of the United States. But Barack Obama has been giving back through community involvement and charity work long before he started politicking. The charismatic young lawyer first made his mark in his adopted hometown of Chicago by working as a community organizer. During his rocket-like ascent to the top, Obama has taken care to continue supporting his causes.

As Obama likes to point out, he was paying off debt from his education well into his professional career, and came from relatively modest means. But also he put aside money to support various charities, especially those dealing with underprivileged children. He has done work for C.A.R.E, to benefit children and women hit hard by wars and national disasters; K.I.D.S, benefiting children in tough situations; Kids Wish Network; and NFINC, which helps people diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis — one of the most common genetic disorders in the US. For that last charity, Obama submitted a "doodle," which was then auctioned off to the tune of $7000. In 2006, the most recent year for which his campaign provided tax information, the Obamas gave about 6 percent of their total income to charities.

Now that he is in the White House, Obama's mere presence at fundraising events can command upwards of $100,000 in charitable giving for just one speech. The president's main tool, of course, to promote giving is through his political power. Obama caused a minor uproar this March when critics said his proposed law limiting tax deductions would curb charitable giving. He replied that there was little evidence that this would affect charities, and framed his determination to get the economy back on track from an economic angle. According to the LA Times he said: "I'll tell you what has a significant impact on charitable giving is a financial crisis and an economy that's contracting." More on taxes and charity.

Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a mother from Kansas, both of whom imparted in him an international perspective. He even spent some time as a boy in Indonesia with his anthropologist mother. He lived most of his childhood in Hawaii, then worked his way through college with the help of various scholarships and loans. After graduating, Obama moved to Chicago and worked with a group of churches to help communities where, after the closure of local steel plants, unemployment ran rampant. He attended law school at Harvard and returned to Chicago to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago and help voters register. He shot into the limelight after a stint in the Illinois State Senate and then US Senate.

Obama used his position as only the third African-American US senator since reconstruction to speak out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, champion veterans' benefits and reproached the use of corporate jets by members of Congress. He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He lives with his wife, Michelle, in the White House with his two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

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