Barack Obama: The making of a candidate

Obama's family

Follow the arc of Barack Obama's life, from his family's roots to his meteoric political rise -- all through rare interviews and exclusive photos and video. (Photo: At their home in Jakarta, Ann Dunham poses in this undated photo with her second husband, Lolo Soetoro, their daughter, Maya, and Barack Obama.) (Photo courtesy of Barack Obama)

March 25, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 1

The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth

The life stories, when the presidential candidate tells them, have a common theme: the quest to belong.

March 25, 2007

PART 1 SIDEBAR

The troublesome return of a long-lost classmate

In the introduction to his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father," U.S. Sen. Barack Obama noted that except for his family and several public figures, he had changed the names of most of the people in the book "for the sake of their privacy."

March 25, 2007

PART 1 SIDEBAR

History of schooling distorted

When Barack Obama was a boy here, he studied for three years at a religious school and prayed four times a day.

March 30, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 3

Barack Obama: Portrait of a pragmatist

packed his few belongings into his newly purchased but creaky old Honda and headed west from New York into a political and social battle zone.

March 30, 2007

PART 3 SIDEBAR

Activism blossomed in college

Barack Obama's interest in political activism took root at Occidental College, a small liberal arts institution in this city's hilly Eagle Rock section.

April 13, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 5

Building Barack Obama's money machine

Sen. tapped everyone from small Internet donors to Hollywood stars and industry titans to raise a towering $25 million in the first three months of this year.

April 22, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 6

Barack's rock: Michelle Obama

The featured speaker at a luncheon, is about to ask a crowd of influential Chicago women to commit their hearts and wallets to her husband's presidential campaign.

May 3, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 7

Barack Obama: Careful steps, looking ahead

Sen. calls himself a strong defender of abortion rights, and the presidential contender quickly condemned the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on a controversial late-term procedure. The decision, he feared, "will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose."

May 3, 2007

PART 7 SIDEBAR

State pork to Obama's district included allies, donors

Barack Obama has expressed pride in his ability to bring home old-fashioned pork.

June 12, 2007

BARACK OBAMA: PART 8

Carefully crafting the Barack Obama 'brand'

One evening in February 2005, in a four-hour meeting stoked by pepperoni pizza and grand ambition, Sen. and his senior advisers crafted a strategy to fit the "brand."

June 12, 2007

PART 8 SIDEBAR

Critics: Obama endorsements counter calls for clean government

There was little controversy earlier this year when Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Mayor Richard Daley over two black opponents for a sixth term, lending his star power to an inevitable rout.

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