The year 2009 is the Year of the Ox, according to Chinese astrology. The ox is the second animal in the zodiac and often associated with honesty, faithfulness, strength and gentleness.

But it also sometimes represents stupidity and stubbornness. As such, ox people are believed to labor through their daily responsibilities either at work or at home without complaint.

The basic character of oxen is success through hard work and sustained effort, finding no benefit in concocting get-rich-quick schemes.

Asian folklore lists 12 animals as representing years and attributes the characteristics of those animals to people born in those years.

Obama was born during a year of the ox, Aug. 4, 1961. People born under that sign are said to be hardworking, tolerant and persistent.

Others born during a year of the ox include Diana, Princess of Wales; former President Richard Nixon; former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; artist Vincent Van Gogh; singer Bruce Springsteen; boxer Oscar De La Hoya; and actors George Clooney, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere and Dustin Hoffman.

The Korea Times, AP