Obama's grandmother dies

The nominee had taken time away from the trail to be with his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.

By Alex Koppelman
Published November 4, 2008 2:45AM (UTC)
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Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's grandmother, died late Sunday local time, just before the nation goes to the polls to decide whether to elect her grandson president. Last month, the Democratic nominee had taken time off from the trail to visit her, expressing concern about her failing health.

In a statement, Obama and his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said:


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.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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