Barack Obama is born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu. His parents, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was from Kansas, and Barack Hussein Obama Sr., son of a Kenyan goat herder, met while studying at the University of Hawaii.
1964 His parents divorce after three years of marriage. They had separated the year before, when Obama Sr. left to study
1967 Obama and his mother, who married another University of Hawaii student, Lolo Soetoro, move with Soetoro to his native
Indonesia. Obama attends local schools in Indonesia until he is 10.
1970 Half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is born in Indonesia. She is now a high school history teacher in Hawaii.
1971 Returns to the United States and lives with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, in Honolulu. He remains there until graduating from the prestigious Punahou prep school in 1979.
1982 Obama's father dies
in a car accident in Kenya. Obama had only seen his father once since he left the family in 1963.
1983 Graduates from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a specialization in international relations, after transferring from Occidental College in Los Angeles. He spends about two years working in New York City, including stints at the New York Public Interest Research Group and as a community organizer at the City College of New York campus in Harlem.
1985 Moves to Chicago to work as a community organizer.
1987 Travels to Kenya and meets his father's family, an experience he later describes in his memoir "Dreams from My Father."
1988 Joins the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.'s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. His association with Wright will become an issue in the presidential campaign because of Wright's controversial sermons.
1988 Enters Harvard Law School in the fall, where he becomes the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.
1991 Graduates magna cum laude from Harvard.
1992 Marries Michelle Robinson, whom he met while working as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin in 1989. Robinson, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, most recently worked as a vice president at University of Chicago Hospitals.
1992 Maternal grandfather dies at age 73 in Honolulu.
1995 Mother dies of ovarian cancer at age 52. She had remained in Indonesia, where she worked as an anthropologist, until 1994, when she returned to
1995 Publishes "Dreams from My Father," a highly personal account of his family history.
1998 Daughter Malia is born.
2001 Daughter Natasha (known as Sasha) is born.
2005 Signs contract for a second book, which allows the Obamas to move from their Hyde Park condominium to a $1.6-million house.
2006 Publishes second book, "The Audacity of Hope," part memoir and part statement of his political philosophy that becomes an immediate bestseller. Sales from the book quadruple
the Obamas' income from about $1 million a year to $4.2 million in 2007.
2008 Maternal grandmother dies at age 85, the day before Obama is elected president.