Family Photo

Claim:   Photograph shows Barack Obama with various members of the Obama family.


Origins:   The photograph displayed here is one that was circulated during the 2008 presidential campaign as a denigrative item aimed at the one of the leading contenders for the Democratic Party's nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois:

Although the picture does include some members of Barack Obama's extended family, the captions added to the picture are fictitious ones created for political purposes. Someone simply slapped a bunch of names and descriptions that have no basis in fact onto a group picture, and everyone in the photo other than Barack Obama himself is misidentified.

Several of the persons shown in this photograph are relatives and children of Senator Barack Obama's biological father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. The elder
Obama was born in Kenya and was married there, and he had children with his first wife who grew up in that country. He later came to Hawaii to attend college and married an American woman there, and Barack Obama, Jr. is a child of that second marriage (which ended when the junior Barack was only a year or two old).

Altogether, Barack Obama, Sr. fathered eight children by four different women, and Barack Jr.'s mother also remarried and had another child with her second husband, so President Obama has quite a large extended family when half-siblings, inlaws, and step-parents are taken into account.

President Obama saw his biological father, who died in an automobile accident in 1982, on only one occasion after his parents separated. As far as we have been able to determine, President Obama did not meet any of the relatives shown in this photograph until he was an adult.

The persons pictured here are:

Front row (left to right): Auma Obama (Barack's half-sister), Kezia Obama (Auma's mother), Sarah Hussein Onyango Obama (the third wife of Barack's paternal grandfather), Zeituni Onyango (Barack's aunt).

Back row (left to right): Sayid Obama (Barack's uncle), Barack Obama, Abongo [Roy] Obama (Barack's half-brother), unidentified woman, Bernard Obama (Barack's half-brother), Abo Obama (Barack's half-brother).

Last updated:   15 March 2015


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    The New York Times.   17 March 2008.

    Flannery, Mike.   "The Man Behind the Hype: Who Is Barack Obama?"   8 February 2007.

    Fornek, Scott.   "Abongo (Roy) Obama."
    Chicago Sun-Times.   9 February 2007.

    Fornek, Scott.   "Auma Obama."
    Chicago Sun-Times.   9 February 2007.

    Fornek, Scott.   "Sarah Obama."
    Chicago Sun-Times.   9 February 2007.

    Pool, Hannah.   "Question Time."
    The Guardian.   16 November 2006.