The president's personal counsel, Judith Corley, flew to Hawaii to personally receive the long form birth certificate. The certificate arrived back Tuesday at the White House.
The certificate, released Wednesday, says Obama was born in Hawaii, which makes him eligible to hold the office of president.
White House officials have said the issue was settled long ago. But so-called "birthers" opposed to Obama have kept the issue alive. Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently began questioning why Obama hadn't ensured the long form was released.
"The president feels this was bad for the country, that it's not healthy for our political debate," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
The White House said it would be smart politics to let this play out, but Obama wanted people to focus on the important issues and put this issue to bed.
"From a factual point of view it is absolutely a settled issue," said Carney. "But the fact that it was a settled issue didn't mean that it went away."
Obama had earlier released a standard short form, but requested copies of his original birth certificate from Hawaii officials this week.
In an exclusive Eyewitness News/SurveyUSA poll conducted Wednesday, 700 adults in the L.A. area were asked:
Based on what you know now, was Barack Obama ... definitely born in the United States? Probably born in the United States? Probably born in another country? Or definitely born in another country?
Definitely born USA: 55 percent
Probably born USA: 22 percent
Probably born elsewhere: 16 percent
Definitely born elsewhere: 4 percent
Not Sure: 2 percent
Which describes you: One: I always knew the President was born in America. Two: I had my doubts, but now I am satisfied that the President was born in America. Three: I still have doubts about where the President was born. Four: I am sure the birth certificate newly released by the White House is a forgery.
Always Knew U.S.: 64 percent
Had Doubts/now Satisfied: 11 percent
Still Have Doubts: 15 percent
Sure Of Forgery: 10 percent
Not Sure: 1 percent
As it stands now, is Obama's birthplace still an open item to be debated? Or is it now a closed incident?
Open Item: 23 percent
Closed Incident: 64 percent
Not Sure: 13 percent
ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this story