Making Obama

16 EpisodesProduced by WBEZ Chicago

Former President Barack Obama — along with key advisers, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Season One of Making told the story of how Oprah built a media empire. Now, the story of how Chicago shaped the country's first African-American president.

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Preview: Public Official A

January 11th, 2019


If you enjoyed listening to Making Obama, some folks here at WBEZ have another podcast for you. It’s also about politics, but this one is very …

Obama BONUS: The Decision

April 10th, 2018


Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.

Obama 6: Yes We Can!

March 15th, 2018


Barack Obama burst onto the national stage during his U.S. Senate run. Hear how ambition and luck propelled him to Washington.

Obama 5: Up Or Out

March 8th, 2018


Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ …

Obama 4: Wait Your Turn

March 1st, 2018


In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.

Obama 3: You Don’t Say No To Barack

February 22nd, 2018


Former President Barack Obama won his first political seat in 1996. Hear what he had to learn, and the conflicts he faced, to get there. 

Obama 2: Chicago Politics Ain’t Beanbag

February 15th, 2018


When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.

Obama 1: The Man In The Background

February 8th, 2018


Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political …

Preview: Making Obama

January 19th, 2018


Former President Barack Obama — along with friends, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Subscribe now and don’t miss the first episode on February 8.

Oprah BONUS: Making Donahue

December 30th, 2016


In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork …

Oprah BONUS: Oprah Gets Political

December 23rd, 2016


For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during …

Oprah BONUS: Let's Talk About Oprah's Hair

December 16th, 2016


If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle. 

In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist …

Oprah 3: YOU GET A CAR!

November 22nd, 2016


In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago. 

“It had become increasingly …

Oprah 2: Skinheads And Scented Candles

November 17th, 2016


In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity. 

The early years of …

Oprah 1: No Strategy, No Plan, No Formula

November 10th, 2016


It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. …

Oprah: Preview of Making Oprah

November 3rd, 2016


Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution is a public radio podcast -- about a daytime talk show. This fall marks 30 years since the national …

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