Barack Hussein Obama Senior was the father of U.S. Senator Barack Obama. Obama Senior separated from his wife when the younger Obama was two years old, returning shortly thereafter to his home country of Kenya. Obama Senior rarely kept in touch with his former family and never developed a personal relationship with his son.
- Born: 1936 in Kogelo, Kenya
- Was a goat herder before winning a scholarship to study in the U.S.
- Attended the University of Hawaii and Harvard University
- First student of African descent to graduate from the University of Hawaii
- Profession: Economist
- Religion: Islam
- Had five children with three different women
- Reportedly had a drinking problem
- Died in 1982 in a car accident
Dreams From my Father
In 1995, Barack Obama‘s biography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance was published. The memoir included Obama’s thoughts about his father and described how the Senior Obama’s absence affected his life:
“All my life, I had carried a single image of my father, one that I had sometimes rebelled against but had never questioned, one that I had later tried to take as my own. The brilliant scholar, the generous friend, the upstanding leader – my father had been all those things…A bitter drunk? An abusive husband? A defeated, lonely bureaucrat? To think that all my life I had been wrestling with nothing more than a ghost!”