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Posted at 09:24 AM ET, 08/04/2011

President Barack Obama’s 50th birthday: A time for reflection . . . and fundraising

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GALLERY: See more photos from Obama's birthday celebrations.

President Obama wrapped up the debt-ceiling debate just in time to celebrate another important milestone. Thursday, Aug. 4, was Obama’s 50th birthday.

Washington Post reporters and bloggers covered the landmark occasion in a variety of ways.

Jump to:

In the Loop: A Rose Garden party

Tom Toles’s caption contest: Winner announced!

A warm embrace from die-hard fans

Tweets from Obama’s party

Gallery: The best of presidential birthdays

How do you say ‘Happy birthday’ in Russian?

Obama at 50: Older, wiser . . . happier?

Obama hits 50; his approval numbers don’t

Graphic: Coming of age in D.C. politics

Obama’s faces: From baby to president

Obama throws a (big) party

Gallery: Obama’s life in photos

Birthday cards from Congress

Turning 50 in Washington

Share your birthday milestones

Gallery: Presidents going gray

A Rose Garden party

Obama’s second birthday bash--this one at the White House--was just as star-studded as his first party in Chicago. In the Loop’s Al Kamen reports all the juicy details.

And the winner is . . .

Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles asked readers to participate in a caption contest..

Read the gallery below to see Toles’s top picks. The winner is at the end!

Read the 1000+ submissions from readers.

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CAPTION CONTEST: Browse through Tom Toles's top picks, with the winner at the end.

A warm embrace from die-hard fans

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GALLERY: See more photos from Obama's birthday celebrations.

President Obama received a warm embrace from his die-hard supporters at a 50th birthday campaign fundraiser in Chicago Wednesday night. The Chicago event kicked off with a concert featuring Jennifer Hudson and OkGo! Tickets range in price from $50 (for the concert) to $35,800 (for VIP seating and dinner with the president).

“After a month when he was battered by both sides of the political aisle in partisan Washington, President Obama returned to his home town a day before his 50th birthday, the first step in reenergizing his embattled base,” the Washington Post’s David Nakamura reported.

Read all about the party here.

Earlier:

Obama leaves partisan Washington for supportive Chicago

Obama heading back on the campaign trail after debt deal

Obama’s fundraising targets very large, very small donors

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VIDEO: Watch the Chicago crowd sing Happy Birthday to Obama.

Tweets from Obama's party

President Obama rang in his 50th birthday Wednesday night with a fundraiser featuring Jennifer Hudson and the band OK Go. Washington Post White House reporter David Nakamura tweeted from the scene at the Aragon Entertainment Center in Chicago.

We partnered with The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Tribune’s RedEye to encourage those on the scene to tweet using #Obama50.

Find out more here.

You can view the convarsation and share your own tweet here:

The best of presidential birthdays

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GALLERY: Click the image above to view more pictures of presidential birthdays.

Presidential birthdays have rarely gone by without some form of fanfare. President John F. Kennedy was famously serenaded by actress Marilyn Monroe, and First Lady Nancy Reagan delivered cake to President Ronald Reagan in the White House press briefing room.

Watch out retrospective of presidential birthday highlights.

How do you say 'Happy birthday' in Russian?

President Obama received an early birthday phone call from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday.

Of course, it wasn’t all birthday wishes. The two world leaders also chatted about the World Trade Organization.

Read the story

Older, wiser . . . happier?

This week hasn’t been easy on Barack Obama, but things are looking up. Slate looks at new studies of happiness that suggest turning 50 may be a magical landmark.

Read the story on Slate.com

Obama's approval numbers not as high as his age

Obama maybe hitting 50, but his poll numbers aren’t. August 4 will mark 60 days with the president’s job approval rating below 50 percent.

Get the details on Behind the Numbers.

Coming of age in D.C. politics

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GRAPHIC: Click the image above to see how Obama's age compares to that of other lawmakers.

This week, Barack Obama will become the third president to turn 50 in office in more than 130 years, following Theodore Roosevelt. Obama will be younger than 72 percent of representatives and 88 percent of senators in Congress.

See how Obama compares in our interactive graphic.

Obama's changing face

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SLIDER: Click the image above to watch Obama's face change.

Barack Obama has changed a lot in the last 50 years. Click the image above and use our slider to watch his face change from (adorable) baby to graying president.

Obama plans a (big) party

Obama is planning to throw quite a birthday party in Chicago Wednesday night, and In the Loop’s Al Kamen has all the details.

The event includes a gala fundraiser featuring Chicago musicians Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock. Campaign donors can also attend a birthday dinner with the President for the bargain price of $35,800.

Read more about it on In the Loop.

What's a Washington 50-something?

“On Thursday, President Obama — one of American history’s most precocious achievers — joins the ranks of Washington 50-somethings,” reports Manuel Roig-Franzia.

Roig-Franzia interviewed five prominent Washingtonians (including uber-pundit Paul Begala and former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart), who shared what it means to reach the milestone age.

Share your birthday stories

Speaking of milestones, we want to hear your stories about what makes these birthdays significant to Washingtonians, whether you’re celebrating your first internship at age 20 or embarking on retirement at age 70. Tell us about turning 20, 30, 40 or more in D.C.: What you’d do differently, and what you’ve learned since.

A little older, a little grayer

Few presidents leave the White House without gray hair (or with as few strands as they went in with), and it’s hard to miss the fact that Obama’s formerly black hair is now decidedly salt-and-pepper.

Obama himself has admitted the metamorphosis, as Kelly Blessing reports. “I’ve got a little grayer since I took this job,” Obama said. “But otherwise, I feel pretty good.”

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GALLERY: Click the image above to view more images of presidents going gray.

Obama's Life

As the president’s 50th birthday approaches on Aug. 4, we look back at his life in and out of the political spotlight.

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GALLERY: Click the image above to view more images of Obama through the years.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Outlook writer Dana Milbank imagined the birthday cards that lawmakers would write (or wish they could write) to Obama on Aug. 4.

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GALLERY: See Congressional birthday cards, as imagined by Dana Milbank.

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By Beth Marlowe and Marie Elizabeth Oliver  |  09:24 AM ET, 08/04/2011

 
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