Barack Obama’s Grandmother Dies

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. wipes a tear as he talks about his grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008. Obama's grandmother, who helped raise him, died peaceably in her sleep Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. She was 86.  (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. wipes a tear as he talks about his grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 3, 2008. Obama

Madelyn Payne Dunham, Barack Obama’s maternal grandmother, died Sunday, the campaign announced earlier this evening.  She was 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died late Sunday night at her Honolulu apartment after a battle with cancer.

“She’s gone home,” Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.  “And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I’m not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about.”

Sad news, if not unexpected.

Republican John McCain issued condolences. “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,” the statement by John and Cindy McCain said.

That’s really all one can say at a time like this.  Obviously, it would have meant a lot to her and to her grandson to see him elected president.  All indications are that she would have had she been able to hold out a couple more days.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Obituaries, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. G.A.Phillips says:

    Very sad as always when you lose a grandma,many prayers to him and his family.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    Above all else Obama is a man like any other so it’s sad to see him lose his grandmother.