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I am the 44th and current President of the United States. I am the first African American to hold the office, as well as the first born in Hawaii. I previously served as the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until I resigned after my election to the presidency in November 2008.
I am a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where I was the president of the Harvard Law Review. I was a community organizer in Chicago before earning my law degree. I worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.
I served three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, I ran for United States Senate in 2004. My victory, from a crowded field, in the March 2004 Democratic primary raised my visibility. My prime-time televised keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 made me a rising star nationally in the Democratic Party. I was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004 by the largest margin in the history of Illinois.
I began my run for the presidency in February 2007. After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, I won my party's nomination. In the 2008 general election, I defeated Republican nominee John McCain and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009.