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President Barack Obama's Kenyan roots and relatives

President Barack Obama
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President Barack Obama-'s family tree reaches from his father-'s tiny Kenyan village to the White House in a single generation.

President Barack Obama's family tree reaches from his father's tiny Kenyan village to the White House in a single generation.


The president's grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was born in Kendu Bay, western Kenya, in 1895 (the family grave in the village of Kogelo says 1870).

Taking the name Hussein when he converted to Islam, he served as a porter in Britain's colonial-era King's African Rifles during World War I and as a cook for a British officer during World War II.

Obama's father, Barack Obama Senior, was born in 1936, to Hussein's second wife Akumu. Hussein's third wife, Sarah Onyango Obama, is Obama's oldest living relative, whom he calls "granny".


Barack Senior came of age during Kenya's independence and won a scholarship to study in Hawaii in 1959, where he met Obama's mother Ann Dunham. The relationship did not last long and Obama, born in 1961, only got to know his estranged father when he was 10 years old and Barack Sr visited Hawaii for a month.

His father had returned to Kenya in 1964, just months after Kenya gained independence in 1963.

During his time in the United States, Barack Sr had also met and later married, then divorced, Ruth Baker. They had two sons together. Barack Sr had his last-born son, George, in Kenya with a woman called Jael Otieno just months before his death in a Nairobi car crash in 1982.

The president's patrilineal line is disparate and convoluted, yet much of it remains anchored in Kenya.
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