/ 20 January 2009

Barack Obama: A view from the lens

Barack Obama made history on Tuesday as he was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African-American to ascend to the White House. Guarded by an unprecedented security operation in Washington, millions packed the National Mall stretching from Capitol Hill to the Lincoln Memorial — where Martin Luther King, in 1963, spoke of a dream of racial unity. Obama faces a tough challenge, taking over leadership of a country that is in economic decline and fighting unpopular wars.

Destined for greatness
Barack Obama as a child with his mother Ann Dunham, in an undated family snapshot from the 1960s.

High school graduate
Obama with his maternal grandparents Stanley and Madelyn Dunham after his high school graduation in 1979.

Obama at Harvard Law School in 1990, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Talking to the people
Obama speaks during a rally at Colorado State Fair Grounds in Pueblo, Colorado.
(Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

Obama disembarks from his campaign plane at Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on October 19 2008.
(Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

On the campaign trail
Obama flashes a hand sign to the crowd as he is introduced at a campaign rally at Hallifax Mall October 29 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Obama sheds tears during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, while talking about his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who raised him and passed away on November 3 2008.
(Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

Making history
Obama stands on stage alongside his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha during an election night gathering in Grant Park on November 4 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.

Yes we can
A supporter holds up a poster as Obama gives his victory speech during an election night gathering on November 4 2008 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

In it together
Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton leave the stage following a press conference in Chicago, Illinois, on December 1 2008.
(Jim Watson, AFP)

En route to Washington
Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, his wife Jill, Obama and his wife, Michelle, prepare to leave the train station in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 17 2009 after a pre-inaugural whistle-stop tour.
(John Moore, AFP)

We Are One
Obama and wife Michelle arrive at the ‘We Are One” concert, one of the events of Obama’s inauguration celebrations, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on January 18 2009.
(Mark Ralston, AFP)