But fringe "birther" theorists have insisted Mr Obama was actually born in his father's native Kenya, making him ineligible to be president.
Recently potential Republican candidate Donald Trump has revived the rumour.
AnalysisThe White House clearly felt they had to lay this matter to rest. And they were almost certainly right.
I was out of town when the story broke and rushed to find a diner with a TV to watch what the president said. As I talked to people afterwards, it was very clear many had doubts about the president's birth certificate and wondered why something hadn't been said more clearly much earlier.
Something else was also very clear: They agreed with the president that this was a distraction and nearly everyone, unprompted, mentioned the price of petrol as their overwhelming concern.
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Mr Obama said. "We've got better stuff to do. I have better stuff to do. We've got big problems to solve, and I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them - not on this."
The release of Mr Obama's long form birth certificate, which had been stored in a bound volume among the records of the Hawaii Department of Health since his birth in August 1961, comes after years of speculation among conspiracy-minded conservatives.Continued