Claim: Barack Obama appropriated the Social Security number of a dead man born in 1890 and uses it as his own.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, June 2011]
Now comes the best part. Ludwig spent the final months of his life in Hawaii, where he died. Conveniently, Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, worked
Origins: This fantastical tale about President Barack Obama's having used a Social Security number (SSN) issued to a French immigrant named Jean Paul Ludwig, born in 1890, is easily debunked. As can be verified through the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), a database of death records created from the United States Social Security Administration's Death Master File Extract, the Social Security Administration was in fact informed of Ludwig's death, and the Social Security number assigned to him was not, as claimed, the same as that assigned to Barack Obama
The premise of this claim is also flawed in concept, as Barack Obama was born in United States and thus there would have been no reason for his grandmother to appropriate someone else's Social Security number for use by him. (Since non-citizens can legally obtain Social Security numbers the issue is irrelevant anyway, as possession of a Social Security number is not in itself an indicator of citizenship.)
Likewise, the claim that Social Security numbers beginning with 042 are "reserved for Connecticut residents" is false. As explained by the Social Security Administration, the area number portion of a SSN does not (and never did) necessarily correspond to the state in which an applicant was born or resides; it simply reflects the mailing address which the applicant has requested his newly issued card be sent to. That mailing address does not have to be the same as the applicant's residence address: it can be the address of a friend, relative, employer, rented post office box, or anyone else authorized to receive mail on his behalf:
An item from February 2013 resurrected the claim that Barack Obama was using someone else's Social Security number, this time a SSN supposedly belonging to one Harrison J. Bounel:
The case in question is Edward Noonan, et al v. Deborah Bowen, California Secretary of State, and the Justices are finally looking at it thanks to the dogged determination of Orly Taitz. The case calls into question many of the documents Obama (Bounel, Soetoro, Soebarkah, etc.) has used and/or released as authentic since he came on the national scene. The case contends that the documents — birth certificate, Social Security number, Selective Service registration, etc. — are fakes or forgeries. If that's the case, Obama should not have been on the California ballot in 2008 and, therefore, should not have received the State’s electoral votes.
This issue is also not scheduled to be discussed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Birther attorney Orly Taitz has proffered claims of forged IDs and stolen Social Security numbers as "evidence" in a number of lawsuits challenging Barack Obama's eligibility for the presidency, and like all of her previous suits, Edward Noonan, et al v. Deborah Bowen was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Variations: A 2014 version of this item included a preface crediting its authorship to Aissa Wayne, daughter of actor John Wayne: "For those of you who don't know ... at the very bottom of this article the attorney who authored this is John Wayne's daughter, also a Graduate of USC." Ms. Wayne is indeed a lawyer, but she had nothing to do with this piece — a query to her on the matter produced the following response: "Hi there! Thanks so much for checking with me; it's a complete hoax! Please pass this info along if possible. My office phone went nuts and I get tons of emails every day. Ugh."
Last updated: 27 August 2015
Morrison, Patt. "Don't Forward That Email — John Wayne's Daughter Didn't Write It." Associated Press. 31 March 2014.