He’s the President of the United States of America, a position he was elected in twice (we know, you say). He was the first African American to take office as President of the US of A (we know). He was named the Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2009 (boring).
So, you think you know Barack Obama, huh? What about these ten things?
1. He’s distantly related to Dick Cheney and… Brad Pitt
In a 2007 interview with MSNBC, Lynne Cheney, the wife of former US Vice President Dick Cheney revealed that her hubby was eighth cousins with Barack Obama. Meanwhile, he’s also distant cousins with ‘Fight Club’ actor Brad Pitt.
2. He smokes…
Apparently, before running for President (the first time), he promised wife Michele that he would quit smoking. Unfortunately, however, he’s broken his promise.
3. …And experimented with drugs
Obama admitted in 2006, then a senator, to smoking marijuana. Even in his yearbook, he thanks “Tut, Gramps, Choom Gang, and Ray for all the good times”. For those who don’t know, ‘choom’ basically means ‘smoking weed’ in Hawaiian. In 2007, he told a class of high school students that he also drank and occasionally snorted cocaine to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”.
4. He was teased in school
The President was often teased in school for his initials, B.O. He was later known as Barry – his grandmother nicknamed him Bar – until university when he asked to be called by his full name.
5. He got fired from Baskin-Robbins
Obama’s first job was on the counter at a Baskin-Robbins, when he was just 15. He later got fired, however, when he called up sick one day – in reality, chose to go out on a date with a girl rather than taking his shift at the ice cream shop. His boss reportedly told him: “You need to re-examine your goals in life”. Obama, meanwhile, now dislikes ice cream.
6. He may be related to the first black slave in Virginia
In 2012, genealogists at Ancestry.com revealed that research suggested Obama is the eleventh great-grandchild of John Punch who is regarded as the first black slave in colonial Virginia almost four centuries ago. Punch is said to have fathered children with a white woman, and which eventually led to the birth of Stanley Ann Dunham – Obama’s mother.
7. He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics
Apparently, the commander-in-chief is quite the geek. In an e-mail for Organizing for Action, Obama admitted that he “grew up loving comics… Back in the day, I was pretty into Conan the Barbarian and Spider-Man”. Obama was even featured in a Marvel comic called ‘Spidey Meets the President!’
8. He gets a haircut twice a month
President Obama gets a biweekly haircut from his favorite barber, Zariff, who flies to the White House from Chicago. Zariff charges Obama $21 for the haircut, and it is known as the ’Obama Cut’ in his shop.
9. He won a Grammy Award
He may not be amongst the Grammy Award for Record of the Year winners Céline Dion and Michael Jackson, but he is still a Grammy Award winner. At the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2006, Obama won the award for Best Spoken Word Album for his memoir ‘Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance’ which was originally published in 1995 while he was preparing to launch his political career in an Illinois State campaign.
10. He had a pet ape
In 1967, Obama moved to Indonesia with his mother who married an Indonesian man by the name of Lolo Soetoro, until he returned to Honolulu four years later. During his stay in Indonesia, he had a pet ape called Tata. He is also reported to have eaten snake meat, dog meat, and roasted grasshopper while there.
So… did you know any of these ten factoids? Got any more to share? Let us know in the comments section below!