Who Became the First African American President in US History When He Was Elected in 2008?

In 2008, history was made when Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States. The road to his presidency was not an easy one, but his victory marked a significant moment in American history.

The Early Life of Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was of English and German ancestry, while his father, Barack Obama Sr., was from Kenya. At a young age, Obama’s parents separated and he later moved with his mother to Indonesia.

Obama returned to Hawaii for high school and went on to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia University in New York City. After graduation, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard Law School.

Political Career

After law school, Obama worked as a civil rights attorney before entering politics. In 1996, he was elected to the Illinois Senate and went on to serve eight years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

During his time in the Senate, Obama gained national attention for his opposition to the Iraq War and his support for healthcare reform. In 2008, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

The 2008 Election

The 2008 election was historic not only because of Obama’s race but also because of the unprecedented voter turnout. On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama defeated Republican nominee John McCain with over 69 million votes – the largest vote total ever received by a presidential candidate at that time.

In his victory speech given in Chicago’s Grant Park on election night, Obama spoke about hope and unity: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

Obama’s Presidency

During his presidency, Obama faced many challenges, including the Great Recession, healthcare reform, and international conflicts. He also made history by signing into law the Affordable Care Act and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which banned openly gay individuals from serving in the military.

In 2012, Obama won re-election against Republican nominee Mitt Romney with over 65 million votes. He served two terms as President of the United States before being succeeded by Donald Trump in 2017.


Barack Obama’s election in 2008 marked a significant moment in American history. His presidency was marked by both successes and challenges, but he will always be remembered as the first African American President of the United States.