Barack Obama’s Grandmother Dies

Sad news just coming in from AP:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Barack Obama says his grandmother died Monday

It is a shame she couldn’t at least hold on to see her grandson elected president tomorrow.

Update: I’m seeing the first on line reports on the story here:

Barack Obama suffered a personal tragedy on the eve of the presidential election when his grandmother lost her battle with cancer.

Madelyn Dunham, 85, died just as her grandson was in pole position to make history by becoming America’s first black president.

Just 10 days ago, Mr Obama broke off from his hectic campaign to visit Mrs Dunham at her home in Hawaii.

Her death was announced in a statement from Mr Obama in which he called her ‘the cornerstone of our family.’

He said she ‘encouraged us to take chances’ and has left him with a debt ‘beyond measure.’

The Kansas roots Mr Obama, 47, often mentions come from Mrs Dunham and her husband, Stanley, who died in 1992 and is buried in Hawaii. His mother, Ann, lost her battle with ovarian cancer when she was 52, leaving his grandmother as the maternal figure in his life.

Mr Obama has made regular references to his grandmother on the campaign trail, mentioning that she worked in a bomber assembly plant during World War Two.

Update II, From The Trail:

The day took a tragic turn for Sen. Barack Obama when his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died today.

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Dunham died at home late last night in Hawaii, or roughly between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Eastern. Obama learned of the news a little after 8 a.m. in Florida, where his campaign held a morning rally.

The campaign released a statement from Obama and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng this afternoon:

“It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer.  She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility.  She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances.  She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring.  Our debt to her is beyond measure.

“Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time.  It brought our grandmother and us great comfort.  Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer.”

John and Cindy McCain issued a statement of condolence after receiving the news. “We offer our deepest condolences to Barack Obama and his family as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandmother,” they said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives.”

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Jerry says:

    Sad news indeed.  In helping to build bombers and then to raise Barack, she did a great job – for all of us.

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