m. SEP 1945
Facts and Events
Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (; 18 June 1936 − 24 November 1982) was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of U.S. President Barack Obama. He is a central figure of his son's memoir, Dreams from My Father (1995). Obama married in 1954 and had two children with his first wife, Kezia. He was selected for a special program to attend college in the United States, where he went to the University of Hawaii. There, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham, whom he married in 1961 and divorced three years later, after having a son, Barack II, named after him. The elder Obama later went to Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned an M.A. in economics, and returned to Kenya in 1964.
Later that year, Obama married Ruth Beatrice Baker, a Jewish American woman with whom he had developed a relationship in Massachusetts. They had two sons together before separating in 1971 and divorcing in 1973. Obama first worked for an oil company, before beginning work as an economist with the Kenyan Ministry of Transport. He gained a promotion to senior economic analyst in the Ministry of Finance. Among a cadre of young Kenyan men educated in the West in a program supported by Tom Mboya, Obama had conflicts with Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta, which adversely affected his career. He was fired and blacklisted in Kenya, finding it nearly impossible to get a job. Obama experienced three serious car accidents during his final years, the last of which claimed his life in 1982.