A timeline of events in Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's life:
1961: Born Aug. 4 to his Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., and his white mother, Ann Dunham, of Wichita, Kan., who divorce when he is 2. He is raised first in Indonesia, home of his stepfather, then in Hawaii by his maternal grandparents.
1979: Graduates from the private Punahou School in Hawaii.
1983: Graduates from Columbia University in New York City after transferring from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studied for two years.
1985: Begins three years of work on Chicago’s South Side as a community organizer for Developing Communities Project, setting up a tenant-rights program and college preparatory program.
1988: Enters Harvard Law School, becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
1989: Meets future wife Michelle Robinson when she is assigned to mentor him as a summer associate at a Chicago corporate law firm.
1991: Graduates from Harvard.
1992: Accepts a teaching position at the University of Chicago Law School while he works on his first book, “Dreams from My Father.” He marries Michelle.
1993: Joins a Chicago civil-rights law firm and serves as a director on various boards.
1995: “Dreams from My Father” is published.
1996: Runs successfully as a Democrat for the Illinois state Senate. He will be elected twice more, in 1998 and 2000.
2002: Loses the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives to incumbent Bobby Rush.
2004: Wins the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and cruises to victory in the general election. He becomes the fifth black man elected to the Senate.
2007: Announces his candidacy for president in February and captures the nomination 16 months later.