Obama's Grandmother Dies a Day
Sen. Barack Obama's grandmother died Sunday night, just hours before a presidential election in which her grandson could become the first African-American to win the nation's highest office.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer," Sen. Obama and his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said in a joint statement Monday.
In Charlotte, N.C., Sen. Obama, looking upset, paid tribute during a campaign rally. "Some of you heard that my grandmother who helped raise me passed away early this morning," he said. "She's gone home," Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle. "And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears.
"I'm not going to talk about it too long because it's hard for me to talk about."
He went on to tell the crowd that Ms. Dunham was born in Kansas in a small town in 1922 and lived through the Great Depression and World War II. "She was one of those quiet heroes that we have all across America, they're not famous, their names aren't in the newspaper, but each and every day they work hard, they look after their families, they sacrifice for their children and their grandchildren," he said.
Last month, Obama took a break from campaigning and flew to Hawaii to be with his grandmother, as her health declined.
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