Barack Obama Net Worth 2022 (Forbes) – Salary, Income, Earnings

Barack Obama Net Worth 

Barack Obama has an estimated net worth of $70 million. Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, and the first African American to serve in the office. First elected to the presidency in 2008, he won a second term in 2012. 

Obama earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2004 after serving in the Illinois State Senate. Before that, he was a professor and state representative, earning less than $30,000 between 1991 and 2004. Michelle Obama, who worked primarily for University of Chicago hospitals during this period, earned the majority of the family income. After becoming a senator in 2005, Barack’s income soared to $157,100. 

The first book Barack wrote was “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” in 1995. The book became wildly popular after Obama’s 2004 DNC keynote, resulting in significant royalties for the Obama family in 2005.

Barack Obama’s second book, Audacity of Hope, released in October 2006, sold millions of copies and rocketed his income to $4.2 million in 2007. Following Barack’s 2008 successful campaign and election, their income continued to grow. 

Barack and Michelle Obama received a $60 million advance for their autobiographies in February 2017.

To calculate the net worth of Barack Obama, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Barack Obama
Net Worth: $70 Million
Monthly Salary: $30 Thousand
Annual Income: $400 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Politician, Lawyer, Writer, Author, Law professor

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Early Life and Parents

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Barack Obama Sr. was born in Nyanza Province, Kenya, of Luo ethnicity. Obama Sr. grew up in Africa herding goats and eventually won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dream of attending college in Hawaii.

Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, was born on an Army base in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II. Dunham’s father, Stanley, enlisted in the military after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and marched across Europe in General George Patton’s army. Madelyn Dunham, Dunham’s mother, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple used the G.I. Bill to study, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and eventually settled in Hawaii.

Obama Sr. met fellow student Ann Dunham while studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. On February 2, 1961, they married, and Barack II was born six months later.

His father abandoned him soon after his birth, and his parents divorced two years later. Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student at the University of Hawaii, in 1965. The family relocated to Jakarta, Indonesia, a year later, where Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro Ng, was born in 1970. Several incidents in Indonesia made Dunham fearful for her son’s safety and education, so Obama was sent back to Hawaii at the age of ten to live with his maternal grandparents. Later, his mother and half-sister joined them.

Obama did not have a relationship with his father when he was a child. Obama Sr. moved to Massachusetts when his son was still a baby to attend Harvard University and pursue a Ph.D. Obama’s parents divorced in March 1964, when their son was two years old, after they had officially separated for several months. Obama Sr. soon returned to Kenya.

Obama struggled as a child with the absence of his father, whom he saw only once more after his parents divorced, when Obama Sr. visited Hawaii for a brief period in 1971. “Nothing my mother or grandparents told me could change the fact that [my father] had left paradise,” he later reflected. “They couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if he had stayed.”

Obama attended the prestigious Punahou Academy while living with his grandparents. He was a standout basketball player who graduated with honors in 1979. As one of the school’s only three Black students, he became aware of racism and what it meant to be African American.

“I noticed that there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog…and that Santa was a white man,” Obama wrote later. “I went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror, all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking the same as I had always looked, and wondered if there was something wrong with me.”

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In 1979, Obama enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles. After two years, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he earned a degree in political science in 1983. In 1991, he received a magna cum laude from Harvard Law.

Obama worked in the business sector for two years after graduating from Columbia University as an undergrad. He relocated to Chicago in 1985, where he worked as a community organizer for low-income residents in the Roseland and Altgeld Gardens communities on the city’s impoverished South Side.

Obama, who stated that he “was not raised in a religious household,” joined the Trinity United Church of Christ during this time. He also paid emotional visits to the graves of his biological father, who died in a car accident in November 1982, and paternal grandfather.

“I sat between the two graves for a long time and wept,” Obama wrote. “I saw how my life in America — the Black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I’d felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I’d witnessed in Chicago — were all linked to this small plot of earth an ocean away.”

After returning from Kenya with a renewed sense of purpose, Obama enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1988. He met with constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe the following year. Tribe was so impressed by their conversation that when Obama asked to join his team as a research assistant, the professor agreed.

“The better he did at Harvard Law School and the more he impressed people, the clearer it became that he could have had anything,” Professor Tribe told Frontline in a 2012 interview. “But it was clear that he wanted to make a difference to people, to communities.”

In 1989, Obama worked as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin, where he met his future wife Michelle. Obama was named the Harvard Law Review’s first African American editor in February 1990.

Marriage to Michelle Obama and Daughters

Obama met Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer who was assigned to him as a consultant at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin. Shortly thereafter, the couple began dating. On October 3, 1992, he and Michelle were married.

They moved to Kenwood, on Chicago’s South Side. Barack and Michelle Obama had two daughters a few years later: Malia (born in 1998) and Sasha (born in 2001).

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Career in Law

Obama returned to Chicago after law school to work as a civil rights lawyer with the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Between 1992 and 2004, he taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School, first as a lecturer and then as a professor, and he helped organize voter registration drives during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

First Book and Grammy

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama’s autobiography, was published in 1995. Toni Morrison, among other literary figures, praised the work. Since then, it has been printed in over 25 languages, including Chinese, Swedish, and Hebrew. In 2004, the book was reprinted and adapted for a children’s edition.

In 2006, the audiobook version of Dreams, narrated by Obama, won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Entry into Illinois Politics

Obama’s advocacy work prompted him to run as a Democrat for a seat in the Illinois State Senate in 1996. During his time as a state senator, Obama collaborated with Democrats and Republicans to draft ethics legislation, as well as to expand health care and early childhood education programs for the poor. He also established a state earned-income tax credit for low-income workers.

After a number of death-row inmates were found to be innocent, Obama worked with law enforcement officials as chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee to require videotaping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases.

In 2000, Obama ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush in the United States House of Representatives. Undaunted, he formed a campaign committee in 2002 and began fundraising for a seat in the United States Senate in 2004. Obama began assessing his Senate prospects with the assistance of political consultant David Axelrod.

Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Obama was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s push to invade Iraq. In October 2002, Obama was still a state senator when he spoke out against a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq at a rally in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. “I am not against all wars. I oppose stupid wars “He stated. “What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, as well as other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration, to ram their own ideological agendas down our throats, regardless of the cost in lives lost or hardships endured.” The Iraq War began in 2003, despite his protests.

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Illinois Senator

Encouraged by poll results, Obama decided to run in the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate open seat vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald. With 52 percent of the vote, he defeated multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes.

That summer, he was invited to give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston in support of John Kerry. Obama emphasized the importance of unity while making veiled jabs at the Bush administration and its use of wedge issues as a diversionary tactic.

Following the convention, Obama returned to his Senate campaign in Illinois. His general-election opponent was supposed to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, a wealthy former investment banker. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004 after his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan, publicly disclosed unsubstantiated sexual deviancy allegations.

Alan Keyes, a former presidential candidate and diplomat, accepted the Republican nomination to replace Ryan in August 2004. Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers, and tax cuts in three televised debates. In the general election in November 2004, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes’ 27%, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history. Obama became only the third African American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction.

After being sworn in on January 3, 2005, Obama collaborated with Republican Indiana Senator Richard Lugar on a bill that expanded efforts to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Eastern Europe and Russia. Then, in collaboration with Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn, he created a website to track all federal spending. Obama also advocated for Hurricane Katrina victims, alternative energy development, and improved veterans’ benefits.

Second Book: ‘The Audacity of Hope’

In October 2006, his second book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, was released. The work explored Obama’s visions for America’s future, many of which became talking points during his eventual presidential campaign. The book quickly rose to the top of the New York Times and Amazon best-seller lists.

2008 Presidential Election

Obama made headlines in February 2007 when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. He was locked in a tight race with former first lady and New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After winning a sufficient number of pledged delegates during the primaries, Obama became the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee on June 3, 2008, and Clinton pledged her full support to Obama for the duration of his campaign.

On November 4, 2008, Obama defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain by a margin of 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent, becoming the 44th President of the United States and the first African American to hold this position. Delaware Senator Joe Biden, his running mate, was appointed Vice President.

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Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. When Obama took office, he inherited a global economic recession, two ongoing foreign wars, and the United States’ lowest-ever international favorability rating.

He ran on an ambitious platform of financial reform, alternative energy, and reinventing education and health care while reducing the national debt. Because these issues were intertwined with the nation’s economic well-being, he believed they all needed to be addressed at the same time.

Obama summarized the situation during his inauguration speech, saying, “Today, I’d like to inform you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and numerous. They will not be accomplished quickly or easily. But rest assured, America: they will be met.”

First 100 Days and Nobel Peace Prize

The Obama administration took action on numerous fronts between Inauguration Day and April 29, 2009. The Nobel Committee in Norway awarded Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his efforts during his first year in office.

Obama persuaded Congress in his first 100 days in office to expand health-care coverage for children and to provide legal protection for women seeking equal pay. To promote short-term economic growth, a $787 billion stimulus bill was passed. With a market-based plan to buy toxic assets from US banks, the housing and credit markets were put on life support. Loans were made to the auto industry, and new Wall Street regulations were proposed.

Obama reduced taxes for middle-class families, small businesses, and first-time home buyers. The president also relaxed the ban on embryonic stem cell research and proposed a $3.5 trillion budget.

Obama overhauled America’s foreign policy completely. He attempted to improve relations with Europe, China, and Russia, as well as to initiate dialogue with Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba. He persuaded allies to back a global economic stimulus package. He committed 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan and set an August 2010 deadline for the withdrawal of nearly all US troops from Iraq.

In more dramatic events, Obama ordered an attack on Somali pirates and prepared the country for a swine flu outbreak. He issued an executive order prohibiting the use of excessive interrogation techniques and directed that the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be closed within a year (a deadline that ultimately would not be met).

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2012 Re-Election

Obama focused on grassroots initiatives during his campaign for a second presidential term, just as he did in 2008. Celebrities such as Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker raised funds for the president’s campaign.

“I guarantee you, we will move this country forward,” Obama said at a campaign event in Maryland in June 2012. “We will complete what we began. And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on the planet.”

Obama faced Republican opponent Mitt Romney and Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, in the 2012 election. On November 6, 2012, Obama was re-elected president for a second four-year term, receiving nearly five million more votes than Romney and capturing more than 60 percent of the Electoral College.

Second Term

Obama’s second term began on January 21, 2013, when U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office. In his inaugural address to a crowd gathered in front of the United States Capitol building, Obama urged the nation to take action on issues such as climate change, health care, and marriage equality.

2014 Midterm Elections

In November 2014, Obama was confronted with new domestic challenges. Republicans had a strong showing on Election Day, gaining a Senate majority, which meant that Obama would have to deal with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress for the final two years of his presidency.

Life After the Presidency

Following their departure from the White House, the Obamas relocated to the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C., to allow their youngest daughter Sasha to continue her education.

In late fall 2017, Obama embarked on a three-nation tour, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama on February 12, 2018. Kehinde Wiley’s piece featured Barack in a chair surrounded by greenery and symbolic flowers, while Amy Sherald depicted the former first lady in a flowing gown, gazing back at viewers from a sea of blue.

Netflix Content

The New York Times reported in March that Barack and Michelle Obama were in advanced talks with Netflix to create exclusive content for the streaming service through their production company, Higher Ground. According to sources familiar with the talks, the former president and first lady are interested in producing shows that highlight inspirational stories. In May, the multi-year agreement was finalized.

According to an adviser, “President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire.” “They have shared stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better throughout their lives. As they consider their personal future plans, they continue to look for new ways to assist others in telling and sharing their stories.”

The fruits of the Obama-Netflix collaboration were first seen in August 2019 with the release of American Factory, an Oscar-winning documentary about the 2015 opening of a Chinese-owned automotive glass factory in Dayton, Ohio, and the clash of differing cultures and business interests.

Book: ‘A Promised Land’

The first volume of Obama’s presidential memoirs, ‘A Promised Land,’ was released in November 2020.

Further Reading

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