In pics: Obama's night. Four more years

A look at the life and career of the 44th American president.
In pics: Obama\'s night. Four more years
In a historic moment, Barack Hussein Obama, the man who took over the reins of an economically weaker America four years ago, has been re-elected to the most powerful office in the world, by inching ahead of Republican candidate Mitt Romney in a closely fought contest.

In the past four years as the President of the United States of America, Obama has seen many ups and downs. His 'Yes, we can' speech and the hunting down of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden gave American people a new hope and soon Obama was topping the popularity charts. Weighing him down were the recession and the lack of comprehensive healthcare reform.

In pics: Obama\'s night. Four more years
“The best is yet to come,” said newly re-elected US President Barack Obama's thank you speech in Chicago, Illinois.
Watch: Obama's victory speech
In pics: Obama\'s night. Four more years
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama embrace Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden moments after the television networks called the election in their favour.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In pics: Obama\'s night. Four more years
The First Family of USA: President Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha wave to supporters in Chicago, Illinois.
In pics: Obama\'s night. Four more years
"This happened because of you. Thank you. Four more years,” tweeted Mr Obama, signing it “bo” to mark it as a personal tweet.

Here's a look at some of the milestones in this charismatic politician's career.

(Twitpic courtesy: @BarackObama)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama lived and attended school in Indonesia. The son of a Kenyan father and Texan mother, he graduated from Columbia University in 1983, after attending Occidental College in Los Angeles.

In his second year of Law School at Harvard, Obama became the first African-American President of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This 1960s photo provided by the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, D-Ill, shows Obama with his mother Ann Dunham. Dunham met Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr. from Kenya, when both were students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. They married in 1960. They divorced in 1960 and Ms Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian graduate student. The family moved to Jakarta and young Barack returned to Honolulu in 1971 to attend high school.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This photo provided by the presidential campaign of Barack Obama shows the US President, Barack Obama, on the beach with maternal grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham. Barack Obama lived with his grandparents while attending high school in Honolulu.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This 1970s photo shows Obama with his mother Ann Dunham, center, his Indonesian step-father Lolo Soetoro, and his less than one-year-old sister Maya Soetoro in Jakarta, Indonesia. His mother and stepfather divorced in 1980.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This 1960s photo of Obama's childhood provided by the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, D-Ill, features him playing with his baseball bat in Hawaii.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In this 1977 file photo provided by the The Oahuan, yearbook of Punahou School, Barack Obama, second row center, seen with his junior varsity basketball team in this 1977 yearbook class photo in Honolulu. Obama loved basketball and as a forward dubbed Barry O'Bomber, he favored a left-handed double pump shot. During his senior year, the varsity team captured the state championship.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This 1972 photo provided by Na Opio, the yearbook of Punahou School, shows Barack Obama, in back row, third from left, posing with his 5th grade class at the Punahou Elementary School a prestigious private school in Honolulu that attracts the island's wealthiest, and most accomplished students.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This undated photo released by Obama for America shows Barack Obama and his father, also named Barack Obama. Obama's father left the family to study at Harvard when Barack was just two, returning only once. Obama wrote poignantly about this visit in his memoir, remembering the basketball his father gave him, the African records they danced to, the Dave Brubeck concert they attended. Obama, then 10, never saw his father again.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This 1976 photo provided by The Oahuan, the yearbook of Punahou School, shows Barack Obama, in front row, fourth from right, with his 9th grade class outside of Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This undated photo shows Obama, in New York City, while a student at Columbia University. Obama received his BA degree in political science in 1983 from Columbia.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This undated photo provided by the presidential campaign of Barack Obama shows his maternal grandparents Stanley and Madelyn Dunham in Cambrige, Mass., during World War II.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This photo provided by the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, D-Ill., shows the US President, Barack Obama, in 1979 during his high school graduation in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents, Stanley Armour Dunham and his wife Madelyn Payne, both natives of Kansas.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Barack Obama married Michelle Robinson, a fellow Harvard Law School graduate, on October 18, 1992, in Chicago, Illinois. This photo was released by This photo released by Obama for America.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
This photo released by Obama for America shows Barack Obama teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. After Harvard Law School, Obama returned to Chicago, joined a small civil rights firm, ran a voter registration drive, and lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In this July 22, 2004 file photo then-Democratic Senate nominee Barack Obama, working near a photo of a victorious Muhammad Ali standing over his challenger, reads through his keynote address that he is to deliver to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In the 17 minutes it took to deliver the speech Obama created a national buzz, and pundits and politicians began talking about him as a presidential candidate.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama began his run for the presidency in February 2007. After a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In this May 3, 2008 file photo, Barack Obama, D-Ill., his wife Michelle and their two daughters Malia, top right, and Sasha arrive at the airport in Indianapolis. By early May, Obama's campaign was back on track after uproar over controversial comments by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and a controversial comment of his own about bitter small-town residents.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In 2008, Obama, a first-term Democratic senator from Illinois, defeated Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who was making his second bid for the presidency. It was a strikingly symbolic moment that swept away the last racial barrier in American politics.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama was sworn in as the first African-American President of USA on January 20, 2009. Here, he is pictured at his acceptance speech with First Lady Michelle and his daughters Malia and Sasha.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In this picture, Barack Obama is shown dancing with wife Michelle at the Western Ball, one of several inaugural balls in Washington, on January 20, 2009.(NYT Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In his first few days in office, Obama issued some very important executive orders and presidential memoranda, including that of the withdrawal of the US military troops from Iraq, closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and also reversed former US President George W Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In another important step taken to make amends with the Muslim world, Obama delivered a speech in Cairo University in Egypt calling for "a new beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Barack Obama visited India on a four day presidential tour with his wife Michelle Obama. It was his longest overseas visit as a President. Obama landed in Mumbai, with his wife Michelle in Air Force One, and took off from there in his helicopter, Marine One for the naval base in Colaba. He was driven to the Taj Hotel from the naval base.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama began his tour on a somber and symbolic note, by paying respects to the victims of the 2008 terrorist siege here. The president signed the Taj visitors' book and paid homage at the tree of life, the 26/11 memorial at Taj. Obama expressed his sentiments in the guest book and also spoke to a few survivors of the 26/11 attacks, in which 166 people, including five Americans, were killed. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit Mani Bhavan, the Gandhi Museum in Mumbai to honour the Father of the Nation. Gandhi, the US President said, has inspired Americans and African Americans, including Martin Luther King.

‘Gandhi, a hero not just to India but to the world', Obama said.(AP Photo)

In the US India Business Council meet, Obama announced "several landmark" deals worth $10 billion (nearly Rs.44,000 crore) between the two countries for creating about 50,000 jobs in the US.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama addressed the Indian Parliament on November 8. He is the fourth US President to address the House after Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Obama said "For in Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has already emerged. And it is my firm belief that the relationship between the United States and India - bound by our shared interests and values - will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. This is the partnership I have come here to build. This is the vision that our nations can realise together."

Obama is the first foreign dignitary to sign the "Golden Book" in Parliament. This is a visitors' book introduced by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
World class education for all American students has been big on the agenda for Obama in his first year in office. He declared there should be "no excuse for mediocrity" in public schools. He also pledged to push for recruitment of better teachers, better pay for those who succeed and dismissal of those who let their students down. (AP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
On Sept 1, 2010 President Obama declared an end to the seven-year American combat mission in Iraq, saying that the United States has met its responsibility to that country and that it is now time to turn to pressing problems at home.

In a prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office, Mr. Obama balanced praise for the troops who fought and died in Iraq with his conviction that getting into the conflict had been a mistake in the first place.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama, who had pledged during the 2008 poll campaign to close the controversial detention facility, said his administration remains committed to doing so, but will rescind its previous suspension on bringing new charges before military commissions. His efforts to enforce this in 2009 drew sharp criticism from conservative elements.

Reversing his own orders in March 2011, US President Barack Obama cleared the way for resumption of trials by military commissions to prosecute alleged terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, but with provisions that cases of indefinite detention get periodic reviews. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama lauded the legalisation of gay marriage in New York in June last year, but continued to support civil unions instead, stating that his position on the issue was 'evolving'. He was responsible for altering hospital visiting rules so as to allow same-sex partners to make decisions for their sick loved ones. He also openly appointed more gay officials than any other president in US history.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
On the eve of the ninth anniversary of 9/11, President Barack Obama said that America was not at war with peaceful Islam, but against "a handful of tiny minority" who have distorted the preachings of the religion. In August of 2010, weighing his words carefully on a fiery political issue, President Barack Obama said that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York's ground zero, but he did not say whether he believed it was a good idea to do so. He faced much flak for being ‘insensitive' towards 9/11 victims.

He exhorted a Florida minister to "listen to those better angels" and call off his plan to engage in a Quran-burning protest in September 2010. The president called it a "stunt“ and a 'recruitment bonanza' for Al-Qaeda. Pastor Terry Jones eventually canceled his plan. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Besides a children's book "Of Thee I Sing", President Obama has written two best-sellers, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," and is widely regarded as among the most literary presidents. Both books sold in the millions. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In November 2010, Republicans captured control of the House of Representatives, riding a wave of voter discontent as they dealt a setback to President Obama just two years after his triumphal victory.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
At the Copenhagen Climate Summit of 2009, Obama was clearly frustrated. Acknowledging that some nations feel the United States is not doing enough, Obama said it was better to embrace an imperfect accord than to reach an impasse.

Obama drew criticism from various environmental groups post-summit for not having done enough to halt climate change. The UN's top expert on the subject, Indian-born Dr Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told NDTV that President Barack Obama missed an opportunity to outline bold initiatives and show more leadership in the run-up to the Copenhagen. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama and the Recession of 2008 were likened to Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Depression of the 1930s. The 2008 election was also said to be like the election of 1932 that swept Franklin D Roosevelt into the Oval office.

Amidst the biggest financial crisis since the Depression, Americans had voted for a man who convinced them to have the audacity to hope.

By 2010 the Obama administration was confident that the US was coming out of the recession faster and stronger due to its economic reforms. (AFP Photo)
Barack Obama: The once and future president
In a historic moment, President Obama announced the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden in a televised address to the nation on May 1, 2011 by a special team of US forces. Osama's death gave the US President political mileage and restored people's faith in countering terrorism.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
Obama and world's best-kept secret: After giving the go-ahead for US elite forces to raid the compound in Abbottabad that held Osama, Obama kept a poker face throughout the 72 hours leading up to the death of Osama, all the while attending public functions like the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and conducting military briefings in private.

The President had given the go ahead three days prior, for the raids by US elite forces on the compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan where bin Laden was hiding with some members of his family.

World leaders and former Presidents including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton congratulated Obama on his 'momentous achievement'. Even the Opposition, the Republicans, showed a great deal of spirit by congratulating Obama and the military forces.

Osama bin Laden is dead'. These were Barack Obama's first words during his dramatic late night speech at the White House. Within minutes of his announcement, there were spontaneous celebrations across the country, as crowds gathered outside the White House, at New York's Ground Zero and at Times Square.

World leaders and former Presidents including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton congratulated Obama on his 'momentous achievement'. Even the Opposition, the Republicans, showed a great deal of spirit by congratulating Obama and the military forces.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
On April 4, 2012, President Obama announced his bid for re-election.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
On October 3, 2012, President Barack Obama and Presidential challenger Mitt Romney engage in the first Presidential debate of the 2012 election in Denver, Colorado.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
On October 16, 2012, Obama and Mitt Romney engaged in their second debate on domestic and foreign policy. A town hall setting with questions being asked by undecided voters.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet for the last of three head-to-head debates in the run-up to the November 6 White House poll.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
US President Barack Obama points towards supporters during a campaign rally at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on November 1, 2012.

Obama and his rival Mitt Romney were hunting for votes in battleground states after the Republican challenger propelled the economy to the forefront of the campaign by promising to restore the country's economic engine.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
President Barack Obama stands Bob Dylan before awarding Dylan the Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Dylan said on November 5, 2012, during a concert, that he thinks President Barack Obama is going to win the election by a landslide.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk off Air Force One after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 6, 2012.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
US President Barack Obama speaks at his last campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 5, 2012.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave to supporters during the final 2012 campaign event in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
Barack Obama: The once and future president
A gifted orator, Obama has an ability to unite people, which he showcased during his 2008 Presidential campaign where he went on to become the 44th President of USA. (AFP Photo)

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