Monday, November 3, 2008

Madelyn Dunham, the maternal grandmother of United States 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama, has died of cancer at 86, just one day before the election.

Dunham, who was born in Peru, Kansas in 1922, helped to raise Obama from the age of 10. She lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for most of her life, where she died peacefully in her apartment shortly before midnight local time.

She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility.

“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,” said Obama and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng in a joint statement to the press.

During his acceptance speech for Democratic presidential nominee he noted her with the words, “She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life… She poured everything she had into me.”

Obama took time out from his presidential campaign in October to visit her at her bedside a week before she died.

Obama’s opponent John McCain also issued a statement saying his “thoughts and prayers go out” to Obama and his family.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Barack Obama and his family as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandmother. 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,” said McCain in a statement to the press.

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