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Celebrate President Obama's 53rd birthday with 53 photos of him throughout his life and presidency

Dear President Obama,

A critical part of being president of the United States is having the unique ability to take one on the chin, because, quite frankly, the hits just keep on coming. Whether it's some cute tot landing a stiff-arm as the White House photographer snaps pictures, or House Republicans trying to sue you and repeal the laws you signed, or the Drudge Report taking shots at Obamacare and your citizenship -- it's tough work.

But you'd expect that sort of stuff from babies, John Boehner and Matt Drudge. What you might not expect is that when you try to do something nice for African-American boys, there's a snarky Ivy League law professor who writes an article in the New York Times complaining that you haven't done anything for African-American girls.

It's certainly not easy being president. In fact, it's hard to believe anyone wants the job.

But you signed up for it -- twice -- so, on your 53rd birthday, we want to let you know we appreciate how tough the job is. Not only is it hard work, Mr. President, but you are constantly being photographed while doing it. You're probably the most photographed man in the world. (We can't imagine having to do our jobs each day while dozens of shutterbugs snapped pics of us.)

It's like you're the world's little goldfish, swimming around your bowl, while we all take photos and make judgments all the time. Since there is such a vast archive of photos, as a show of our appreciation and in honor of your 53rd birthday, we've collected 53 of the most memorable photos of you throughout your life we could find. There are some classic shots of you in there that you will no doubt recognize. You were an adorable kid.

There are some that you may have never seen (or haven't seen in a while). There's a great one of what looks like you magically holding a glowing ball as you delivered a speech in Iowa two years ago. And Matt Drudge's go-to photo for whenever he thinks he has some dirt on you (the one of you winking at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner) is in there, too.

Some of the photos you may want to forget. Remember that time an errant elbow busted your lip during a basketball game and it took 12 stitches to stop the bleeding? Well, in case you didn't, there were news photographers on hand to document the injury with super zoomed in close-up shots. And some photographer from Getty once snapped an extreme close-up of the back of your head -- perfect for anyone who might want to count your gray hairs. Both of those are in our collection.

In case you're feeling old today, we've included several other photos of you with babies and kids (nothing is as invigorating as the youth of America, Mr. President.) But, you honestly don't look like someone who feels old. We've got a handful of shots of you throwing balls, looking rather spry.

In addition, you seem to have been able to adopt the youth culture, posing for selfies and doing it deftly -- you've managed to avoid tweeting a photo with a scandalous wardrobe malfunction thus far. Trust us, that's not as easy as it might seem, so good work on that front.

And hey, you've got two years left in office. When you finish up your term, you'll only be 55 and likely looking for part-time work to keep you busy. There's an AP photo of you showing some remarkable promise for selling salsa that you may want to check out. It's never too soon to start thinking about your next career move.

Back in May, alluding to the oppressiveness of living in the presidential fishbowl, you exclaimed, 'The bear is loose!' as you dispensed with procedure and walked from the White House through the streets of D.C. to a meeting at the Department of Interior. Well, here's to letting loose in whatever way you can on your birthday. If anyone deserves the opportunity to do so, it's you.

There are some really great pics above, and we saved the best one for last: a nice black-and-white image of Michelle, the kids and you. After all, more important than being the American president, you're an American family man. That's something almost everyone can identify with.

Hope you have a great day, President Obama.

More on President Obama:
POP QUIZ: How well do you know President Obama?
President Obama reveals his childhood crush
Obama gets emotional over Malia going to college
Obama plays golf with ESPN hosts
Obama caught handing servicemen challenge coins during 'secret handshake'
Photos of President Obama caught in PDA moments

Join the discussion

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amcpharlin August 04 2014 at 10:08 AM

I can only think of the 53 ways he has ruined our country

Flag Reply +62 rate up
22 replies
John August 04 2014 at 10:13 AM

What moron wrote this crap?

Flag Reply +40 rate up
3 replies
ba.pace77 August 04 2014 at 10:13 AM

The child should have slapped him for me for all the areas he screwed me in.

Flag Reply +35 rate up
6 replies
mgmickey11 August 04 2014 at 10:26 AM

Is this for real??? One of the worst pieces of "journalism" i've ever wasted my time reading...

Flag Reply +33 rate up
3 replies
whcduan August 04 2014 at 10:24 AM

Happy birthday President Obama!
Endless Prayers and Happiness!

He Is Our President, Regardless If You Voted For Him Or Not. Our Country Is One!

It Is Our Duty To Protect And Obey The Law Of The Lands! We The People- Voice Chose Him To Be In Command!
God Bless America!

There Will Always Be Ebbs And Interstates In Our Country And Sad To Feel Angst And _ate!!!

We Can Still Change It For Our Families Today And In The Future!

You Voice Counts! If You Do Not Accept Our Laws! Make A Change, Speak Your Voice!! It Matters!

Happy Birthday President!

Flag Reply +27 rate up
43 replies
HCC11111 August 04 2014 at 10:39 AM

So this is what spawned the downfall of our country. Thanks a bunch Anne. Nice picture of the skunk that is finally proud of our country wtg everyone who voted for him not once but TWICE. You dumbasses

Flag Reply +22 rate up
2 replies
timothytd777 HCC11111 August 04 2014 at 12:33 PM

Read much, HCC, or can you read at all?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
spock21757 HCC11111 August 04 2014 at 12:59 PM

go away

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Pat August 04 2014 at 10:32 AM

go figure ...

this is one POTUS who has NO FAMILY (whether it is a mom, a dad, a sibling, an aunt or uncle) that he is PROUD to claim as a relative ...


Flag Reply +22 rate up
8 replies
Meh... August 04 2014 at 10:24 AM

LOL who else got a good laugh out of the picture of the skin tight jeans!?

I loved the pics of him running around the oval office with the toddlers....

Then there is the "handshake" seen round the world with Castro.

LOL on the "school note" for the little girl too.

Pictures of him shopping in local business's supporting the small business owner with loads of free endorsement is awesome.

There were some really good pics in there. Reminds us all that he is just a regular person like the rest of us.... goofy, fun, knows how to play with children, but also shows the solemn side, with the "waiting for Bin Laden" picture. Nice article.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
2 replies
swinterfeld Meh... August 04 2014 at 11:46 AM

Meh...You must be living with your head in the sand. Why don't you go join the Hamas fighters with the rest of your beloved Muslim Radicals. You have got to be blind not to see the harm and shame this one man has rained down on our once great country.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
Winnie Meh... August 04 2014 at 12:52 PM

Not real pics. All photo ops.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
Georgina August 04 2014 at 10:18 AM

Great photos. Looks like he's a lot of fun. He may not be the greatest President we've had but he's done a lot of good things to help the economy improve, despite those who tried to oppose him. Housing market is definitely up in Florida where it was tanking years ago. No one will ever be 100% happy with any President. That's why there are opposing sides and views.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
13 replies
smashingmonkey August 04 2014 at 10:24 AM

That kid is going to end up in a secret prison somewhere at sea or overseas.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
4 replies
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