A veritable household name during the 2008 presidential election (in which he won the Democratic nomination, roundly defeating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York), Barack Obama campaigned for the United States Presidency while serving as a Democratic senator in Illinois. The product of a unique and complex ethno-cultural heritage -- he began life in Honolulu as the son of a white Kansan mother and a Kenyan father -- Obama spent various periods of his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii. As a young man, he attended Columbia University as a political science major, then held a job as a Manhattan financial counselor before growing listless, moving to Chicago, and taking on a job as a community organizer -- a post that witnessed him working strenuously with churches to aid the impoverished in local housing projects. Obama later attended Harvard Law School, where he excelled, and became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. A successful bid for the Senate followed, culminating with a November 2004 victory. As a presidential candidate, Obama exuded a populist appeal that won him legions of supporters and enabled him to cinch the nomination.
Cinematically, Obama limited his exposure to participation in documentaries, including the biographical profiles Senator Obama Goes to Africa (2007) and Biography: Barack Obama (2007), and the Darfur genocide-themed muckraking documentary The Devil Came on Horseback (2007). He was the subject of the election year documentary 2016: Obama's America. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi