Union that produced Barack Obama came in wake of African divorce

 January 28, 2024

Former first lady Michelle Obama has made headlines recently with her insights on marriage, something which has prompted renewed interest in the union that produced her famous husband, Barack Obama, which, as The List explains, came in the wake of a prior divorce.

This aspect of the former president's life was chronicled by author Sally Jacobs in her book The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father,” and has recently been revisited as a topic of curiosity.

“Quite taken”

According to Jacobs' book, Barack Obama's parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, made each other's acquaintances in the early 1960s, while both were studying at the University of Hawaii.

According to the recollections of those who knew them, their connection developed at a rapid pace.

Jacobs explained, “Both of them were quite taken with each other. This relationship picked up speed pretty quickly.”

That indeed appears to have been the case, given that it was just three months later that Dunham learned she was pregnant with a child who would later ascend to the presidency, and the pair decided to wed.

Second marriage for Obama Sr.

While the marital union was the first for Dunham, it did not represent the first time Obama Sr. had made such a commitment, as Jacobs noted.

Back in his home country of Kenya, Obama Sr. had been married to a woman named Kezia Aoko, with whom he shared two children, Auma and Malik.

Though Obama Sr. had represented that he was divorced from Aoko, there appeared to be some uncertainty as to whether that did in fact occur prior to his marriage to Dunham.

Further complicating matters was the fact that Obama Sr. had fathered a number of other children with different romantic partners, something that later resulted in a contentious battle over his estate in the aftermath of his 1982 death.

Complicated family dynamics abound

Raised largely by his maternal grandparents, the depth of former president Barack Obama's connection to his mother and father remains a subject of some uncertainty.

However, relations with one of his half-siblings, namely, Malik Obama, have long been marked by the latter's harsh and often public criticism.

Speaking about his famous family member back in 2020, Malik Obama opined, according to the New York Post. that “He got rich and became a snob. What I saw was he was the kind of person that wants people to worship him. He needs to be worshipped and I don't do that. I am his older brother so I don't do that.”

Surely adding to the ongoing tension within the family was Malik Obama's prior assertion that he was “110% still with Trump” during his electoral battle with Hillary Clinton. “He's not fake. He tells us the way he sees it. He's bold and fearless and he's tough,” the older brother said, giving voice to sentiments to which Barack Obama would never subscribe.

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