WASHINGTON — President Obama has chosen his hometown of Chicago to host his future presidential library, two individuals with knowledge of the decision said Thursday, placing the permanent monument to his legacy in the city that launched his improbable ascent to the White House.

Obama’s library will be built on Chicago’s South Side, where the University of Chicago has proposed two potential sites not far from the Obama family’s home. It was unclear which of the two sites had been selected, but officials were expected to make an announcement within weeks.

The decision brings to a close a hard-fought competition that kicked off in the earliest days of Obama’s second term. From an initial list of about a dozen proposals, the Barack Obama Foundation chose four universities to vie for the library. In recent months it became increasingly clear that the Obamas were leaning toward the University of Chicago, the elite private school where Obama taught law before becoming president.

The University of Chicago’s victory marks a harsh letdown for the other three schools on the short list: The University of Hawaii, New York’s Columbia University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Still, the president has signaled that the library may be only one component of the post-presidential project; presidential libraries often have accompanying policy institutes, presidential centers or museums. Obama has signaled an interest in spending time in New York and Hawaii after leaving the White House, and individuals familiar with the decision said Obama was likely to base other types of programming at the universities that lost out on the library itself.