Born: 1955, Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York
Axelrod has early ties with newly appointed Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel as they both worked for Paul Simon in 1984 and both spent their early careers in Chicago.
Interestingly, he specializes in campaigning specifically for black politicians. As reported by the New York Times, he was criticized by Reverend Jeremiah Wright for "while he was expert at promoting black candidates with white voters, he did not know much about relating to the black community...They're spiriting him away from people in the African-American community. David doesn't know the African-American church scene."
He has a reputation for being cool-headed and having a knack for diffusing things.
Obviously, by his resume, he is a smart guy and a quick read. So far, it appears Obama is surrounding himself with sharp people.