Barack Obama’s Grandmother Dies of Cancer at 86

Barack Obama‘s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died of cancer at the age of 86 — one day before the historic U.S. election that could see her grandson become the first African-American President of the United States.

Obama learned of her death Monday morning while he was campaigning in Jacksonville, Florida.

He plans to go ahead with campaign appearances.

More news as this story develops. For live updates, please check out NowPublic’s Barack Obama Scan.

Barack Obama’s grandmother just passed away.

Sad news: Barack Obama’s grandmother has passed. Our thoughts and prayers should be with he & his family.

Dunham died of cancer at the age of 86.

Barack Obama’s trailblazing effort to become the nation’s first black president has a family precedent.

Madelyn Dunham, Obama’s grandmother, blazed a feminist trail in Hawaii banking circles in the late 1960s and early 1970s and rose to become one of the Bank of Hawaii’s first female vice presidents.

The Associated Press is reporting that Barack Obama’s grandmother has died:

“The Democratic presidential candidate announced the news in a joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. He said his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had died peacefully after a battle with cancer.”

The following statement has been released by Sen. Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng:

Here’s a statement from Obama and 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.”

Obama’s Republican rival John McCain and his wife Cindy released a statement offering their sympathies:

“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.”

As NowPublic previously reported, Obama took a break from campaigning late last month to travel to Hawaii to be with Dunham, who helped raise him.

Oct. 20, 2008 – Senator Obama has decided to change his schedule on Thursday and Friday so that he can see her and spend some time with her. He will be returning the the campaign trail on Saturday.”

Our condolences to his family.

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