Barack Obama Nobel Peace Prize character jug produced by Bairstow Manor Pottery of Hanley, England, circa 2015. Barack Hussein Obama II (1961- ) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African-American president of the United States. Obama previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. This character jug honors Obama as the 2009 winner of the Noble Peace Prize.