A is for Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, who grew up the daughter of an oil-rig worker in smalltown Kansas
B is for Barack Snr, Obama's father, who was born into a Muslim family in the small African village of Nyangoma-Kogelo in Kenya and grew up herding goats
C is for Chicago, the city that Obama calls home, and where he took his first job with a church group working in high crime inner city estates. Also for Chilli, the dish Obama says he cooks best
D is for Dreams from my Father, Obama's first best-selling book. D is also for drunk — the state that Barack Snr was in when he died in a car crash in August 1982
E is for e-mails. Hostile messages are still circulating on the internet claiming that Obama (middle name: Hussein) is a Muslim and a jihadi sympathiser opposed to the American way of life
F is for the number five — Obama was only the fifth African-American in US history to become a Senator. He now seems certain to be the first black candidate to run for President on a major party ticket
G is for garden. Extending his, through a murky land-deal involving his fundraiser Tony Rezko (see R), was a "bone-headed mistake", Obama has admitted
H is for Hawaii, where Obama's parents met at university. Obama was born on August 4 1961 and spent his first six years in Honolulu, though his parents split up when he was two
I is for Indonesia, where Obama moved after his mother briefly remarried, to oil manager Lolo Soetoro
J is for Jakarta, where Obama went to school until he was ten. J is also for the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the black Chicago church pastor who baptised the Obama children. Obama disowned him after his race-tinged rants threatened to alienate white voters
K is for Kenya, the country where Obama's grandfather was a domestic servant to the British. Also for Dennis Kucinich, the no-hope Democratic contender that Obama accidentally voted for in the Illinois primary
L is for Leo, Obama's star sign . Also for Luo, his family's tribal heritage in Kenya
M is for Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, who he married on October 3 1992, and Malia, their elder daughter, and also for Maya Kassandra Soetoro, the half-sister with whom he grew up
N is for Nadhmi Auchi, the British-Iraqi billionaire who lent $3.5million (£1.7million) to Obama's fundraiser Tony Rezko in the weeks before Obama bought a grand house in Chicago (see R)
O is for ovarian cancer, the disease which killed Obama's mother in 1995 — "in many ways one of the most spiritually-awakened people I have ever known". Also for Oprah, one of Obama's most influential supporters
P is for poker, which Obama claims is his hidden talent
Q is for quitting smoking, something Obama says he used to do regularly
R is for Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, Obama's friend and political fundraiser, who negotiated the $3.5million loan from Mr Auchi. Rezko was indicted for fraud and extortion in 2006
S is for Sarah, Obama's paternal step-grandmother, who is in her 80s and still lives on the family farm in Kenya. Also for Springfield, the small town in Illinois where he declared his candidacy on February 10, 2007
T is for The Audacity of Hope, Obama's second best-selling book, which took its title from a sermon by Rev Jeremiah Wright (see J)
U is for "a little mini United Nations", the way Obama describes his family. "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher. We've got it all."
V is for victory — Obama finally passed the magic number of 2,118 delegates last night, and told a rally in St Paul's, Minnesota: "America, this is our moment."
W is for Wisconsin, the state where Michelle Obama controversially remarked in February that "for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."
X is for David Axelrod, the brilliant political strategist whom Obama first enlisted in 2002 to help him run for the Senate
Y is for youth — the ability to inspire young people to vote has been key to his success
Z is for Jay-Z, the rapper whose song 99 Problems (But A Bitch Ain't One) caused a stir at an Obama rally in January. Analysts thought it was a reference to Hillary Clinton.