Fact Check

Barack Obama's Mother Was Born a Man?

Barack Obama's mother was born a man?

Published Jun 20, 2012


Claim:   Barack Obama's mother was born a man.


Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2012]

It is rumored that Stanley ann Dunhams original Birth Certificate read "Stanley A Dunham Jr".. and is listed as a male. Is this true?

Was Stanley Ann Dunham (Barack obama's mother) born a MALE according to his/her birth certificate? It is said that she is a

There is a rumor going around about the president's mother "Stanley Ann Dunham" that she was born a man and became a
transvestite. Can you verify that this is not true?


Origins:   One of the odder rumors that began popping into our inbox in June 2012 was the claim that Barack Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, was born a man and became a transvestite. There is nothing to this claim, which doesn't even make logical sense (i.e., donning women's clothing does not enable a man to give birth to two children, as Ann Dunham did).
The rumor appears to be based on a confusion and conflation of two different (and unrelated) pieces of information:

  • The full birth name of Barack Obama's mother was Stanley Ann Dunham, and "Stanley" is most commonly considered a man's name. (Indeed, Ann Dunham's father was himself named Stanley.) Stanley Ann Dunham was reportedly named for Stanley Timberlake, the character played by actress Bette Davis in the 1942 film In This Our Life.
  • Newspaper accounts in early 2012 identified Evie, a nanny who once cared for Barack Obama in Indonesia, as a transvestite or transgender man who lived as a woman at the time she was employed by Obama's family.

Last updated:   20 June 2012


    Karmini, Niniek.   "President Obama’s Transgender Childhood Nanny Lives As Outcast."

    [New York] Daily News.   5 March 2012.

    Maraniss, David.   Barack Obama: The Story.

    New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.   ISBN 1-439-16040-6   (p. 68).

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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