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25 things you might not know about Obama

By The Associated Press 8-08

Twenty-five things you might not know about Barack Obama:

1. His high school basketball nickname at Punahou School in Hawaii was “O’Bomber” and he favored a left-hand, double-pump shot.

2. He has two Grammy awards for recording his best-selling books, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.”

3. His mother’s name was Stanley Ann Dunham – her father, Stanley, wanted a boy.

4. His mother and father, Barack Obama Sr., met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii. She was 18. He was a scholarship student from Kenya.

5. His father, a goat herder as a child, was a member of the Luo tribe and came from a village in Kenya.

6. As a child in Indonesia he was introduced to snake meat and roasted grasshopper. His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, presented him with a pet monkey, “Tata.”

7. While living in Indonesia, his mother would wake him at 4 a.m. for three hours of English lessons before he went to school.

8. His maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, worked at a Boeing Co. plant in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II.

9. While a student at Harvard Law School, he applied to appear in a black pride pinup calendar. He was rejected by an all-female committee.

10. He met his wife, Michelle, while she was his adviser one summer when he worked at a corporate law firm in Chicago. She also is a Harvard Law School graduate.

11. On his first date with his wife, they had ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins in Chicago. (One of his jobs as a teen was scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins.)

12. His favorite movies include “Casablanca,” “The Godfather” films, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

13. During his community organizing days, some residents in Chicago dubbed him “baby face” because of his youthful looks.

14. He considers his worst habit to be checking his Blackberry.

15. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, but he got a D in eighth-grade French.

16. His prized possession is a photograph of the cliffs of Oahu’s South Shore, where his mother’s ashes are scattered.

17. He is a good – but cautious – poker player who joined other lawmakers in Springfield, Illinois, for weekly games. They dubbed their group “The Committee.”

18. His music favorites include Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z and jazz legends Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. One of his favorite songs during the political season is Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm.”

19. He carries good luck charms, including a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny Madonna and child, and a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq.

20. He announced his campaign for the presidency at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “house divided” speech.

21. His office wall has a framed original program from the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech. Obama will accept the Democratic presidential nomination on the 45th anniversary of that address.

22. He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali.

23. He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life.

24. He has promised his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, a dog this fall – win or lose

25. He doesn’t like to shop.