In June, Senator Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. presidential candidate. Obama wins the presidential election on November 4th, becoming the first African-American president-elect.
ieutenant Governor David Paterson becomes the first African-American governor of New York, and the first legally blind governor of any U.S. state.
In June 2009, 50-year-old pop icon Michael Jackson dies of cardiac arrest. His memorial service is broadcast internationally, attracting an audience of nearly one billion viewers and causing a surge in album sales. As a result of his death, Jackson becomes the best-selling artist of 2009.
Also This Year: Barack Obama is inaugurated on January 20, 2009, making him the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American to hold the post. His wife, Michelle Obama, becomes the first African-American First Lady in U.S. history.
On January 22, 2009, foreign policy advisor Susan Rice becomes the first African-American woman to be the United States' U.N. Ambassador. On January 22, 2009, foreign policy advisor Susan Rice becomes the first African-American woman to be the United States' U.N. Ambassador.
Attorney Eric Holder becomes the 82nd Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2009, making him the first African-American to hold the position.
On November 11, 2009, musician Darius Rucker wins the Country Music Association's New Artist of the Year Award - the first African-American to receive the honor.
Tennis players Venus and Serena Williams become the first African-American world doubles tennis champions.
In December, Disney unveils The Princess and the Frog, the studio's first animated film featuring an African-American princess.