How a kid from Hawaii rose to the top

Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the US at noon yesterday. Here are some biographical facts about the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office.

lAge: 47

lBirthdate: August 4, 1961

lBirthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii

lEducation: Columbia University; Harvard Law School

lWife: Michelle Robinson Obama

lChildren: Daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7

lReligious affiliation: United Church of Christ

lParty: Democrat

lFamily: Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a white American mother. His father, Barack Obama Snr, married his mother, Ann Dunham, while studying at the University of Hawaii. The couple separated two years after Obama was born.

His mother's second marriage was to an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro. The family moved to Indonesia and Obama remained there until he was 10, when he moved back to Hawaii and lived with his grandparents.

Obama has seven half brothers and sisters in Kenya from his father's other marriages, and a half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, from his mother's second marriage.

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

Three years later, Obama left to go to Harvard Law School, where he became the first black president of the Law Review. He worked as a summer associate at the Sidley Austin law firm in Chicago, where he met his future wife. After graduation from Harvard in 1991, Obama practised civil rights law at a small firm in Chicago, then became a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago in 1993.

lElective office: Obama won a seat in the Illinois state senate in 1996, going on to win a heavily contested US Senate seat in 2004.

lPresidential campaign: Obama announced his presidential candidacy on February 10, 2007. Though New York senator Hillary Clinton was initially seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Obama quickly showed an ability to raise large amounts of money and draw record-breaking crowds who were attracted to his rhetorical skill, his opposition to the Iraq war, and his promise to move beyond the divisive politics of the past 40 years.

After accepting the Democratic nomination in Denver in August, Obama faced Republican John McCain in the presidential election, winning 53percent of the popular vote on election day, November 4. - Reuters