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Reported by Andrew Scot Bolsinger
According to a North Carolina obituary, the great-aunt of President Barack Obama died last Wednesday.
Margaret Payne, age 87, of Chapel Hill died at a retirement community. She was the younger sister of Barack Obama’s grandmother, who played an active parental role for the future president when he was growing up in Hawaii.
“Margaret A. Payne is survived by her brother Charles T. Payne and wife Melanie; her brother Jon V. Payne and wife Susan and friend Margery Duffey. She is also survived by nieces and nephews Richard Payne, Jon Allen Payne, Stacey Gray, Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro,” Payne’s obituary stated.
Payne was a professor of nutrition who taught at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and subsequently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1980 to 1990. She authored numerous research articles and two books.
Stanley Dunham and his wife Madelyn were parents of Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham. Margaret Payne was the younger sister of Madelyn.
Obama’s extensive list of relatives that reflect the president’s own global upbringing and ethnic diversity has been a source of news throughout his administration.
In 2013, A federal immigration judge ruled that Obama’s uncle could remain in the United States, sparing him deportation to his native Kenya in a case that riveted attention on the elderly man who had lived under the radar in the United States for 50 years. For most of that time, he was here illegally, according to published reports.
In January, Obama’s half-brother said he wanted to correct items from the President’s best-selling memoir.
“I remember that my impression at the first meeting was that Barack thought that I was too white, and I thought that he was too black,” Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo said. “He was an American citizen on a journey in search of his African roots, while I was a resident of Kenya seeking to find his white roots.”