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Exclusive Portrait: Hail to the Chief, a Tribute to President Barack Obama

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CHICAGO – The year was 2006, and the photographer was Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. The portrait subject was the future president of the United States, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. For the first time, on his last day in office, we publish this portrait of the 44th executive representative of America.

Obama1
Then Senator Barack Obama, for his book “The Audacity of Hope” in 2006
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

President Obama, a biracial man who self identifies as an African American, was born in Hawaii in 1961, to Ann Durham, and was named after his father (who he only met once). Raised by a “village” – which included his grandparents on his mother’s side – he started his improbable road to the White House by graduating from Columbia College with a degree in political science in 1983. He moved to Chicago shortly thereafter, and worked famously as a community organizer from 1985 to 1988 there. He was working at a Chicago law firm in 1989, right before going to Harvard Law School, when he met his eventual wife, Michelle Robinson.

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Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, in 2006
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

He graduated from Harvard in 1991, and his breakthrough as the first black president of the Harvard Law review led to his first book, “Dreams from My Father,” a memoir regarding his search for identity. After working as a civil rights attorney, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1997, where he served until 2004. At that time, he ran for U.S. Senator, and was elected the same year. In 2008, the timing was right, and he was elected as the first African American president in U.S. history in November of that year.

At his election acceptance speech in Chicago he said, “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.”

Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com shot these Exclusive Portraits of Barack Obama in 2006, in association with his book tour for “The Audacity of Hope,” and they are published here exclusively for the first time, on his final day as President of the United States.

“Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” are available wherever books are sold. Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, 2009-2017.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Writer, Editorial Coordinator
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2016 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Roberta Brenza's picture

WOW -- he looks SO YOUNG!!!!

Love him, every bit of him!! :) <3 MISS HIM SO MUCH, DEAR GOD!!!!

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