Past presidents could only hope for a childhood as rich in world experience as the current one. His mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas, during the Depression, with her father going from an oil rig worker to a soldier in Patton’s army in Europe. She met Barack Obama, Sr., a Kenyan shepherd-cum-student with outsize dreams, at a Russian class at the University of Hawaii. The two married in February. Six months later Barack Obama Jr. was born.
On this day, August 4, in 1961 in a Honolulu, Hawaii hospital the baby that would go on go be the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, was born. Barack Sr. and Ann Dunham were rarely together after that: he would go on to continue his studies in Cambridge and Harvard, while she for a while lived with her mother on Honolulu, and then returned to University of Hawaii to resume her studies. In between that time, She met an Idonesian surveyor, Lolo Soetoro, who would become Barack’s stepfather.
Six year-old Obama moved with his mother to join Soetero in Indonesia, but decided to return him back to Hawaii just five years later (and later joined him, along with his sister). Obama grew up with a multiracial heritage: a Kenyan father, an Indonesian stepfather, and a white saxon mother. Obama later wrote in his memoir “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.”