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Born in Honolulu to a Kenyan father and an American mother, Obama grew up in culturally diverse surroundings. He lived most of his early life in Hawaii and spent four of his pre-teen years in Jakarta, Indonesia. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003.