Barack Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham dies.
Grandmother inspired Obama| Tribune reporter
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The day before the presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama's grandmother, a woman he called "Toot" and someone who helped raised him, has died.
Obama's campaign reported the death of Madelyn Dunham, 86, this afternoon as he and the media traveling with him landed here for the second of two campaign rallies he has scheduled today.
An undated photo of Obama with his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. (Family photo)
Aides said the Democratic nominee learned of her death about 8 a.m. Eastern time and that she passed at her home in Honolulu between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Eastern time.
Obama's grandmother, who had been gravely ill, was a rock of stability, giving him the American roots that would ground his teenage years as well as his career in politics.
He suspended his campaign for part of two days recently to return to Honolulu to be at her bedside. She was in hospice care in her apartment.
The candidate and his campaign had hoped that she would live long enough to see the outcome of the election, a race she had closely followed by television.
In a rare 2004 interview with the Tribune, Dunham, who called her grandson 'Bear,' noted her daughter's global interests and said she and her husband offered Obama a greater sense of normality. "I suppose I provided stability in his life," she said
The Illinois senator's campaign issued a statement under his name and that of his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng:
"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."
Madelyn Dunham, de 86 anos, estava muito doente, embora a campanha de Obama não tenha liberado detalhes. Ela era a única sobrevivente dentre os pais e avós de Obama, [exceto a avó africana, que ainda vive no Quênia].
Ela teve um papel importante na educação do candidato democrata.
E no discurso de aceitação da indicação de seu partido, em Denver: “Foi ela que me ensinou a trabalhar duro, que deixou de comprar um carro novo ou um vestido para que eu pudesse ter uma vida melhor. Ela colocou tudo em mim. E embora ela não possa mais viajar, eu sei que ela está me vendo esta noite, e que esta noite é dela também“.