Posted on December 23, 2008

O Was Cig Man on Campus

Cynthia R. Fagen, New York Post, December 18, 2008

Taken during a 1980 photo shoot by Occidental College pal Lisa Jack, the snapshots show that the freshman was already showing off the quiet confidence of a future president.

“He was very charismatic even then,” Jack recalled of the brief encounter at her off-campus Los Angeles apartment.

“He was really cute. What else does a 20-year-old girl remember?” she told Time, which published the rare shots in its year-end issue that names the president-elect 2008’s Person of the Year. “He was a little nervous,” she said. “You can see he’s just posing, initially, and as the shoot goes on, he starts to come out.”


In some of the black and white film frames, Obama, who called himself “Barry,” sports a straw fedora at a rakish angle and takes a deep drag off a cigarette.


During the campaign, Obama admitted he still liked to sneak a smoke every now and then. But he has since sworn off the habit, promising to keep the White House a smoke-free zone.