Former United States President Barack Obama
Former United States President Barack Obama was born in 1961 and grew up in Hawaii, where he continues to occasionally visit. He was the 44th president of the United States. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
While a shaved ice shop received much publicity when the Obama family was photographed there during his presidency, it is not the only place for frozen desserts with a direct connection to the former president. We chose the Baskin Robbins on South King Street in Honolulu for our Author Adventures literary trail, where the past President had one of his first jobs. His childhood home is close to it, though the home is not open to the public.
While the walls are not loaded with presidential memorabilia, the employees were well aware of the store’s connection to past president of the United States Barack Obama.
Obama authored two best-selling and highly acclaimed books before becoming a United States president: Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, as well as the children’s book Of Thee I Sing. In 2020, he published the autobiographical A Promised Land.
He is also known as an avid reader and major champion of the importance of reading. Every year, he announces a list of his favorite books. An example of his list can be found here: https://mostrecommendedbooks.com/barack-obama-books.
In an interview with Marilynne Robinson for The New York Review of Books, Nov. 19, 2015, he said:
“When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.”
This is the third stop on our Hawaii Author Adventures Trail.