Claim: Photograph shows Barack Obama with various members of the Obama family.
REAL PHOTOGRAPH; INACCURATE DESCRIPTION
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 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
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
Cohen, Roger. “Obama’s Brother in China.” The New York Times. 17 March 2008. Flannery, Mike. “The Man Behind the Hype: Who Is Barack Obama?” cbs2chicago.com. 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.
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.