Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. The first African American to assume the presidency in U.S. history, he previously served in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004. As he departed the presidency in January 2017, Barack Obama offered his successor advice in a customary handover letter.
“…we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
Read the full transcript of the letter here.