Barack Obama has accomplished a great deal throughout his life. Early on,
Obama excelled in grade school and would later graduate from Columbia
University, moving on to Harvard Law School after undergraduate completion.
Along with being a loving husband and father to his two daughters, he was also
able to write two best-selling books that focus on his successful journey through the world of politics that
would eventually get him to the White House. Over the past ten years, there has
been an extensive amount of information released into public record about
His thoughts, beliefs, and concerns regarding important issues have been published in newspapers and televised news specials
since he was first sworn into office back in 2008. His birthdate, birthplace,
and basic information about his life and his parents have even been used to
develop trivia questions for popular game shows and board games. With all the
information available, it may seem like you know more than enough about Barack Obama.
There are still some interesting facts about the man who now referred to
as the POTUS (President of the United States) that many people do not know.
15) He Does Not Like to Eat Ice Cream
The frozen novelty treats and ice cream market generated over $11 billion in
sales in 2012 in the United States alone. Another study shows that the average
American consumes close to 15 quarts of ice cream every year.
If any conclusion
can be drawn from these numbers, then President Obama is not your typical
American because he simply has a great distaste for all types of ice cream. His
strong disliking for the delicious frozen treat started during his teenage years
when he worked at the famous ice cream shop, Baskin-Robbins.
He stated in several different interviews that having to deal with ice cream
on a daily basis plays a significant role in why he cannot stand the taste of
He is also not that big of a fan of drinking coffee or alcohol. Some people might picture the most powerful man in the world,
due to the stressful nature of being President, to be essentially living off of
coffee. There are also quite a few pictures that are
circulating on the Internet and through the press of the President drinking from
coffee mug. In the case of these pictures, he is most likely enjoying a cup of
his favorite drink, black
forest berry iced tea. Obama's favorite snack would be chocolate-peanut protein bars.
Favorite Movie is "Casablanca"
People would agree that there is a lot that you could learn from someone simply
by understanding their taste in movies, particularly by what their favorite
movie happens to be. The President of the United States isn't an exception to
this personality evaluating tool. Obama willingly
expressed his top five favorite movies on several different occasions to the
media. At the
very top of the list is the 1942 Humphrey Bogart classic hit, Casablanca.
When asked about this top movie choice in an
interview, President Obama quickly responded with another direct question, "Who
doesn't like Casablanca?"
The 1975 Academy-Award-winning Jack Nicholson hit, One Flew over the Cuckoo's
Nest, is next on the President's movie list. He is a major fan of the
first two Godfather movies from the early 1970s.
He once stated in an interview
with Katie Couric that his favorite movie scene of all time was the opening
scene from the very first Godfather movie, when Marlon Brando expresses how he
was disrespected by the same man who was asking him for a favor. He was not a
fan of the third Godfather movie at all, which is right in line with millions of
other movie fans across the country. Finishing off
his top five favorites is the ever enjoyable 1962 classic, Lawrence of Arabia.
13) He Has Read All of the Harry Potter Books
There are approximately 4,224 pages within the seven-book series of J.K.
Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Hundreds of millions of people around the world
are major fans, and the popularity of the series has led to a successful movie
franchise. Based on United States sales numbers alone, the first five films were able to
surpass the $1 billion milestone. Out of all the millions of people who have
become fans of the magical series, there are two fans that are worth mentioning:
President Obama's two daughters.
President Obama admits that he has read all of the Harry Potter books to his
12) He Views His Favorite Sport as a Good Luck Charm
When it comes to winning, people have different traditions and routines they
believe will help them be victorious. Football players have slept in their
uniforms overnight because they felt it would improve their performance on game
day. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, wore
his North Carolina basketball shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts during
every single game for good luck. President Obama even has good luck charm that
he believes helped him win two key primaries.
Obama with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (Holding ball)
Obama's good luck charm is basketball, which is the President's favorite
sport. In a 2008 interview
with 60 Minutes, then-Senator Obama stated that he had to play a game of
basketball before each key primary in order to win, and that he planned to carry on that
tradition during the upcoming general election.
Obama is currently serving his second term as President, so he must
have been on to something.
11) He is a Dedicated Basketball Fan and Player
Even before President Obama was sworn into his
first term, it was widely known that he is a huge fan of basketball. Every year
Obama has been in
office he has made a tradition out of inviting the team who wins the NBA championship for a formal banquet
at the White House. Many people may not realize that Obama's passion for the
game goes beyond spectating, and Obama is a powerful force on the basketball
He has invited quite a few professional basketball superstars to play in
Presidential Pick-Up games, including Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron
James. The President never allows any media
coverage at these events, much to the disappointment of many basketball
fans. His primary reason for the media ban is that he just wants to have
everyone focus on the game, and not any unnecessary press coverage.
Obama with (from left) Deputy National Security Advisor
Advisor Denis McDonough, Staff Secretary Lisa Brown, and National Security
General Jim Jones
Over two decades ago, the President was a star power forward on his high
school basketball team. He even earned the
nickname of "Barry O'Bomber" because of his famous double pump, left-handed shot.
10) He Was a Party Lover in the Mid-1990s
President Obama has admitted on several different occasions that he enjoyed
attending parties and social functions with his close friends and family members
throughout the 1990s. This was before he officially embarked on his journey
into the world of politics. Ian Manners, the former husband of Obama's
half-sister, remembers partying with Barack Obama. At his bachelor party back in 1996, Manners remembers the future
President as being very relaxed and laid back.
Even though he was willing to have a good time, Manners also stated that at
the time, Obama showed a lot of respect for his wife of four years, Michelle. He
remembers that Obama did not do anything that would disgrace their marriage.
Obama even left the party immediately after the arrival of a stripper.
In the interview, Manners recalls the bartender jokingly telling him
that Obama was going to be the President of the United States one day. Even
though he knew that Obama was a great guy, he thought it was a long shot to see
him ending up in the White House. He did not know that he would be proven wrong
twelve years later.
9) He Paid Off His Student Loans with a Book Deal
People may wonder why the President has placed so much focus on
the student loan crisis since the beginning of his second term. It is primarily
because he personally understands the disadvantage of having a high loan balance
follow you for many years.
Between him and his wife Michelle, they racked up $120,000
in student loan debt. This debt followed them during the
first twenty years of their marriage. It was not until 2004, when Obama signed a
$1.9 million book deal and wrote the best-selling book, The Audacity of Hope,
that they were able to pay off their debt.
Obama was also elected to
the US Senate during the same year.
8) He Did Not Make the Cut as a Calendar Pin-Up Model
When President Obama appeared on the popular daytime talk show, "The View, he
revealed that he was the distant-cousin of Brad Pitt. Once the topic was brought
up, the President quipped that his distant relative had clearly received the
better looking portion of the gene pool. Award-winning journalist, news anchor
and show creator, Barbara Walters, corrected him by declaring that the ladies on
that particular panel thought that he was "very sexy looking." That comment was followed by hoots, hollers and
whistles from the mostly female audience.
Even though the all-female panel of "The View" thought that President Obama
was sexy, he was judged by another all-female committee
during his time at Harvard. At that time, young Barack Obama wanted to be able
to show off as a pin-up model for the annual student
calendar. However, the all-female committee rejected his submission and went
with their other choices instead of Obama. These women are probably
kicking themselves right now for their decision. Power is defiantly a turn on
for most women.
7) He Has Used the Same Barber for Almost Two Decades
published report stated that there are over 220,000 barbers working in over
40,000 barbershops throughout the United States. When choosing the barber that
is going to cut the President's hair, there are literally thousands of people to
choose from for the prestigious position. In the past, Presidents have chosen local
barbers they have already known, trust in the staff that is already hired for cosmetology
for the White House, or decided to cut their own hair.
President Obama decided to keep the same barber that he
has been using since 1995. This Chicago-based barber goes by the simple name of
"Zariff." A news report released in 2012 confirmed that President Obama
flies Zariff to Washington DC from his home in Chicago every two weeks, just to
give him a bimonthly cut and trim. Before you get annoyed over this
flagrant waste of government dollars, know that the expenses from these frequent
trips come out of the President's own pocket.
6) He Had to Sleep in a New York Alley
Even before he was able to move his family into the White House in Washington
DC, President Obama enjoyed a 14-room home in the beautiful Kenwood district of
Chicago. This three-story and 6,000 square foot home came included six bedrooms,
five full baths, and a four-car garage. With Obama's first experience in New
York City, it would seem that he could of only dreamt about living in a house
When he moved to New York he had made arrangements to live in a
friend’s apartment located on West 109th Street. Unfortunately, he arrived a
little after 10 PM and nobody was there to answer the door to let him in with his luggage. He spent the night reading a letter that he had received from his
estranged father, advising him to continue looking after himself and to focus
on getting to know the people around him.
He could not afford any type of hotel
accommodations, so he had to spend the night in the alleyway right there on West
109th Street in Manhattan. The future president of the free world woke up the
next day, washing at a fire hydrant with a homeless man.
5) He Experimented with Drugs as a Teenager
There have been quite a few Presidents that have gotten caught up in a
conversation about their illegal drug use, either before or during their prestigious
political careers. Sometimes these conversations end in that forever tarnish
their image and overall reputation to the public.
Many people remember when President Bill Clinton denied that he had ever smoked
marijuana in his campaign in 1992, and the ensuing campaign jousts from
incumbent George Bush's campaign.
President Obama refused to hide anything from his past when it came
to his campaign – including his past history of drug use. He openly admitted to
experimenting with a wide variety of drugs as a teenager. He did not even wait
until his campaign began to reveal the facts about his experiences with drugs.
It was in his first book, Dreams from My Father, which was released back in 1995
before he started his political career.
According to an excerpt from his book, the former Senator admitted that he
experimented with marijuana and cocaine. He wanted to try heroin, but he had a
relationship with the drug dealer who was trying to sell it to him and chose to
pass on it. During a meeting
with the American Society of Magazine Editors, he stated that his past drug use
was "reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy,". His forthrightness on this subject clearly didn't hurt his
political career, perhaps proving that voters really do value honesty above all
4) He Was Not "Black Enough" for Most Black Voters
One would think that the black community would immediately support
a black Presidential candidate, but this this was definitely not the case during Obama's first presidential campaign. A variety of reports confirmed that the
vast majority of black voters were actually against Obama for most of his
campaign. Many people argued that President Obama was not "black enough" to make
history as the first black US President of the United States. Not black enough?
Other voters felt that there was no sense in voting for him because an
African American could never win enough votes to become president. It wasn't
until Iowa's primary
that most black voters decided to finally support him in the race, with a final
endorsement of 95 percent of the black vote.
3) He is a Grammy Award Winner
President Obama has made history with his presidency, but he also has achieved
something that many recording artists only dream of. President Obama happens to
be a Grammy Award winner. And if winning once wasn't enough, Obama stuck to his
pattern of duplicated success and is a two-time Grammy winner. He won his first
Grammy back in 2006 for providing his own narration for the audiobook version of his
best-selling memoir, Dreams from My
Lightning struck twice two years later when he won another Grammy Award in
the same category for the narration of his other best-seller The Audacity of
Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. He might be the first African
American President, but he is not the first
President to win a Grammy. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have also been awarded
a Grammy, and posthumous awards were given to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
That's some interesting company to be keeping, considering these men could
arguably be some of the most note-worthy presidents of all time.
2) He Was Actually the First Black President Twice
It is widely known that Barack Obama was the first African American to become
president of the United States. But Obama had already made history almost twenty years
prior to winning his first term in office, by becoming the first black President
of the Harvard Law Review in February of 1990. It is important to note the
Harvard Law Review has been ranked and rated as being one of the most
prestigious law organizations in the country.
At the time of his election it was the first time that a black student had held this position in
the 104-year history of the institution. In an interview, a young Barack Obama
stated that being elected to that position showed "a lot of progress," but
he also took a moment to remind people that "there are hundreds or thousands of
black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance."
1) He is the First US President to Embrace Social Media
Technology has really changed the world that we live in, and the manner in which
we communicate and do business.
In the past, no president ever made use of social media. The president was, for
security purposes, discouraged from publically making use of social media
applications like Facebook or Twitter. What started as a ban on social media
strictly for security purposes, progressed into a standard for which subsequent
presidents would communicate electronically.
President Obama decided to change the status quo by becoming the first U.S. President to publicly embrace the world of social
media, and openly embraced the changes in communication that everyone seemed to
throw themselves into. He has an official Facebook page that he also uses for personal purposes,
and even has a Twitter account that he frequently uses. He even posts an occasional YouTube video,
easily making him the most electronically avid present to date.
reports have confirmed that he is also the first President to own and use an
Apple iPod, iPad, and fully customized BlackBerry smartphone. This last
statistic probably has more to do with the times we live in rather than any
Even though President Barack Obama has truly had a lot of his personal and
private life thrown into the public arena, there are still many things about
Obama that are not as well known as the typical regurgitated factoids on
from his basic likes and dislikes that make him human, there are finer points
that have molded him into the stoic public figure he is today.